Population-Scale CT-based Body Composition Analysis of a Large Outpatient Population Using Deep Learning to Derive Age-, Sex-, and Race-specific Reference Curves.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background Although CT-based body composition (BC) metrics may inform disease risk and outcomes, obtaining these metrics has been too resource intensive for large-scale use. Thus, population-wide distributions of BC remain uncertain. Purpose To demonstrate the validity of fully automated, deep learning BC analysis from abdominal CT examinations, to define demographically adjusted BC reference curves, and to illustrate the advantage of use of these curves compared with standard methods, along with their biologic significance in predicting survival. Materials and Methods After external validation and equivalency testing with manual segmentation, a fully automated deep learning BC analysis pipeline was applied to a cross-sectional population cohort that included any outpatient without a cardiovascular disease or cancer who underwent abdominal CT examination at one of three hospitals in 2012. Demographically adjusted population reference curves were generated for each BC area. The z scores derived from these curves were compared with sex-specific thresholds for sarcopenia by using χ2 tests and used to predict 2-year survival in multivariable Cox proportional hazards models that included weight and body mass index (BMI). Results External validation showed excellent correlation (R = 0.99) and equivalency (P < .001) of the fully automated deep learning BC analysis method with manual segmentation. With use of the fully automated BC data from 12 128 outpatients (mean age, 52 years; 6936 [57%] women), age-, race-, and sex-normalized BC reference curves were generated. All BC areas varied significantly with these variables (P < .001 except for subcutaneous fat area vs age [P = .003]). Sex-specific thresholds for sarcopenia demonstrated that age and race bias were not present if z scores derived from the reference curves were used (P < .001). Skeletal muscle area z scores were significantly predictive of 2-year survival (P = .04) in combined models that included BMI. Conclusion Fully automated body composition (BC) metrics vary significantly by age, race, and sex. The z scores derived from reference curves for BC parameters better capture the demographic distribution of BC compared with standard methods and can help predict survival. © RSNA, 2020 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Summers in this issue.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Magudia, K; Bridge, CP; Bay, CP; Babic, A; Fintelmann, FJ; Troschel, FM; Miskin, N; Wrobel, WC; Brais, LK; Andriole, KP; Wolpin, BM; Rosenthal, MH

Published Date

  • February 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 298 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 319 - 329

PubMed ID

  • 33231527

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8128280

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-1315

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1148/radiol.2020201640


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States