Estimability index for volume quantification of homogeneous spherical lesions in computed tomography.
Volume of lung nodules is an important biomarker, quantifiable from computed tomography (CT) images. The usefulness of volume quantification, however, depends on the precision of quantification. Experimental assessment of precision is time consuming. A mathematical estimability model was used to assess the quantification precision of CT nodule volumetry in terms of an index ([Formula: see text]), incorporating image noise and resolution, nodule properties, and segmentation software. The noise and resolution were characterized in terms of noise power spectrum and task transfer function. The nodule properties and segmentation algorithm were modeled in terms of a task function and a template function, respectively. The [Formula: see text] values were benchmarked against experimentally acquired precision values from an anthropomorphic chest phantom across 54 acquisition protocols, 2 nodule sizes, and 2 volume segmentation softwares. [Formula: see text] exhibited correlation with experimental precision across nodule sizes and acquisition protocols but dependence on segmentation software. Compared to the assessment of empirical precision, which required [Formula: see text] to perform the segmentation, the [Formula: see text] method required [Formula: see text] from data collection to mathematical computation. A mathematical modeling of volume quantification provides efficient prediction of quantitative performance. It establishes a method to verify quantitative compliance and to optimize clinical protocols for chest CT volumetry.
Samei, E; Robins, M; Chen, B; Agasthya, G
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