Digital tomosynthesis rendering of joint margins for arthritis assessment
Purpose: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of the hand is a significant healthcare problem. Techniques to accurately quantity the structural changes from RA are crucial for the development and prescription of therapies. Analysis of radiographic joint space width (JSW) is widely used and has demonstrated promise. However, radiography presents a 2D view of the joint. In this study we performed tomosynthesis reconstructions of proximal interphalangeal (PIP), and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints to measure the 3D joint structure. Methods: We performed a reader study using simulated radiographs of 12 MCP and 12 PIP joints from skeletal specimens imaged with micro-CT. The tomosynthesis technique provided images of reconstructed planes with 0.75 mm spacing, which were presented to 2 readers with a computer tool. The readers were instructed to delineate the joint surfaces on tomosynthetic slices where they could visualize the margins. We performed a quantitative analysis of 5 slices surrounding the central portion of each joint. Reader-determined JSW was compared to a gold standard. As a figure of merit we calculated the average root-mean square deviation (RMSD). Results: RMSD was 0.22 mm for both joints. For the individual joints, RMSD was 0.18 mm (MCP), and 0.26 mm (PIP). The reduced performance for the smaller PIP joints suggests that a slice spacing less than 0.75 mm may be more appropriate. Conclusions: We have demonstrated the capability of limited 3D rendering of joint surfaces using digital tomosynthesis. This technique promises to provide an improved method to visualize the structural changes of RA.
Duryea, J; Neumann, G; Yoshioka, H; Dobbins, JT
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