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Use of a Commercially Available Deep Learning Algorithm to Measure the Solid Portions of Lung Cancer Manifesting as Subsolid Lesions at CT: Comparisons with Radiologists and Invasive Component Size at Pathologic Examination

  • Feb. 2021
  • by Yura Ahn et. al.

Background

The solid portion size of lung cancer lesions manifesting as subsolid lesions is key in their management, but the automatic measurement of such lesions by means of a deep learning (DL) algorithm needs evaluation.
 

Purpose

To evaluate the performance of a commercially available DL algorithm for automatic measurement of the solid portion of surgically proven lung adenocarcinomas manifesting as subsolid lesions.
 

Materials and Methods

Surgically proven lung adenocarcinomas manifesting as subsolid lesions on CT images between January 2018 and December 2018 were retrospectively included. Five radiologists independently measured the maximal axial diameter of the solid portion of lesions. The DL algorithm automatically segmented and measured the maximal axial diameter of the solid portion. Reader measurements, software measurements, and invasive component size at pathologic examination were compared by using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots.
 

Results

A total of 448 patients (mean age, 63 years ± 10 [standard deviation]; 264 women) with 448 lesions were evaluated (invasive component size, 3–65 mm). The measurement agreements between each radiologist and the DL algorithm were very good (ICC range, 0.82–0.89). When a radiologist was replaced with the DL algorithm, the ICCs ranged from 0.87 to 0.90, with an ICC of 0.90 among five radiologists. The mean difference between the DL algorithm and each radiologist ranged from −3.7 to 1.5 mm. The widest 95% limit of agreement between the DL algorithm and each radiologist (−15.7 to 8.3 mm) was wider than pairwise comparisons of radiologists (−7.7 to 13.0 mm). The agreement between the DL algorithm and invasive component size at pathologic evaluation was good, with an ICC of 0.67. Measurements by the DL algorithm (mean difference, −6.0 mm) and radiologists (mean difference, −7.5 to −2.3 mm) both underestimated invasive component size.

Conclusion

Automatic measurements of solid portions of lung cancer manifesting as subsolid lesions by the deep learning algorithm were comparable with manual measurements and showed good agreement with invasive component size at pathologic evaluation.

Author

Yura Ahn, Sang Min Lee , Han Na Noh, Wooil Kim, Jooae Choe, Kyung-Hyun Do, and Joon Beom Seo

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