Comparison of manual and semi-automatic measuring techniques in MSCT scans of patients with lymphoma
A multicentre study
Multicentre evaluation of the precision of semi-automatic 2D/3D measurements in comparison to manual, linear measurements of lymph nodes regarding their inter-observer variability in multi-slice CT (MSCT) of patients with lymphoma. MSCT data of 63 patients were interpreted before and after chemotherapy by one/tworadiologists in five university hospitals. In 307 lymph nodes, short (SAD)/long (LAD) axis diameter and WHO area were determined manually and semi-automatically. Volume was solely calculated semi-automatically. To determine the precision of the individual parameters, a mean was calculated for every lymph node/parameter. Deviation of the measured parameters from this mean was evaluated separately. Statistical analysis entailed intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Median relative deviations of semi-automatic parameters were smaller than deviations of manually assessed parameters, e.g. semi-automatic SAD 5.3 vs. manual 6.5 %. Median variations among different study sites were smaller if the measurement was conducted semi-automatically, e. g. manual LAD 5.7/4.2 % vs. semi-automatic 3.4/3.4 %. Semi-automatic volumetry was superior to the other parameters (2.8 %). Semi-automatic determination of different lymph node parameters is (compared to manually assessed parameters) associated with a slightly greater precision and a marginally lower inter-observer variability. These results are with regard to the increasing mobility of patients among different medical centres and in relation to the quality management of multicentre trials of importance. aEuro cent In a multicentre setting, semi-automatic measurements are more accurate than manual assessments. aEuro cent Lymph node volumetry outperforms all other semi-automaticallyand manually performed measurements. aEuro cent Use of semi-automatic lymph node analyses can reduce the inter-observer variability.