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Algorithm variability in the estimation of lung nodule volume from phantom CT scans: Results of the QIBA 3A public challenge

: Athelogou, M.; Kim, H.J.; Dima, A.; Obuchowski, N.; Peskin, A.; Gavrielides, M.A.; Petrick, N.; Saiprasad, G.; Colditz Colditz, D.; Beaumont, H.; Oubel, E.; Tan, Y.; Zhao, B.; Kuhnigk, J.-M.; Moltz, J.H.; Orieux, G.; Gillies, R.J.; Gu, Y.; Mantri, N.; Goldmacher, G.; Zhang, L.; Vega, E.; Bloom, M.; Jarecha, R.; Soza, G.; Tietjen, C.; Takeguchi, T.; Yamagata, H.; Peterson, S.; Masoud, O.; Buckler, A.J.


Academic radiology 23 (2016), No.8, pp.940-952
ISSN: 1076-6332
ISSN: 1878-4046
Journal Article
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Rationale and Objectives
Quantifying changes in lung tumor volume is important for diagnosis, therapy planning, and evaluation of response to therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of multiple algorithms on a reference data set. The study was organized by the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance (QIBA).
Materials and Methods
The study was organized as a public challenge. Computed tomography scans of synthetic lung tumors in an anthropomorphic phantom were acquired by the Food and Drug Administration. Tumors varied in size, shape, and radiodensity. Participants applied their own semi-automated volume estimation algorithms that either did not allow or allowed post-segmentation correction (type 1 or 2, respectively). Statistical analysis of accuracy (percent bias) and precision (repeatability and reproducibility) was conducted across algorithms, as well as across nodule characteristics, slice thickness, and algorithm type.
Eighty-four percent of volume measurements of QIBA-compliant tumors were within 15% of the true volume, ranging from 66% to 93% across algorithms, compared to 61% of volume measurements for all tumors (ranging from 37% to 84%). Algorithm type did not affect bias substantially; however, it was an important factor in measurement precision. Algorithm precision was notably better as tumor size increased, worse for irregularly shaped tumors, and on the average better for type 1 algorithms. Over all nodules meeting the QIBA Profile, precision, as measured by the repeatability coefficient, was 9.0% compared to 18.4% overall.
The results achieved in this study, using a heterogeneous set of measurement algorithms, support QIBA quantitative performance claims in terms of volume measurement repeatability for nodules meeting the QIBA Profile criteria.