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In European journal of radiology ; h5-index 47.0

PURPOSE : To evaluate the performance of an artificial intelligence (AI) based software solution tested on liver volumetric analyses and to compare the results to the manual contour segmentation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : We retrospectively obtained 462 multiphasic CT datasets with six series for each patient: three different contrast phases and two slice thickness reconstructions (1.5/5 mm), totaling 2772 series. AI-based liver volumes were determined using multi-scale deep-reinforcement learning for 3D body markers detection and 3D structure segmentation. The algorithm was trained for liver volumetry on approximately 5000 datasets. We computed the absolute error of each automatically- and manually-derived volume relative to the mean manual volume. The mean processing time/dataset and method was recorded. Variations of liver volumes were compared using univariate generalized linear model analyses. A subgroup of 60 datasets was manually segmented by three radiologists, with a further subgroup of 20 segmented three times by each, to compare the automatically-derived results with the ground-truth.

RESULTS : The mean absolute error of the automatically-derived measurement was 44.3 mL (representing 2.37 % of the averaged liver volumes). The liver volume was neither dependent on the contrast phase (p = 0.697), nor on the slice thickness (p = 0.446). The mean processing time/dataset with the algorithm was 9.94 s (sec) compared to manual segmentation with 219.34 s. We found an excellent agreement between both approaches with an ICC value of 0.996.

CONCLUSION : The results of our study demonstrate that AI-powered fully automated liver volumetric analyses can be done with excellent accuracy, reproducibility, robustness, speed and agreement with the manual segmentation.

Winkel David J, Weikert Thomas J, Breit Hanns-Christian, Chabin Guillaume, Gibson Eli, Heye Tobias J, Comaniciu Dorin, Boll Daniel T


Algorithms, Artificial intelligence, Liver, Reproducibility of results, Tomography, X-ray computed