Repeatability of two semi-automatic artificial intelligence approaches for tumor segmentation in PET

Elisabeth Pfaehler*, Liesbet Mesotten, Gem Kramer, Michiel Thomeer, Karolien Vanhove, Johan de Jong, Peter Adriaensens, Otto S. Hoekstra, Ronald Boellaard

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Background Positron emission tomography (PET) is routinely used for cancer staging and treatment follow-up. Metabolic active tumor volume (MATV) as well as total MATV (TMATV-including primary tumor, lymph nodes and metastasis) and/or total lesion glycolysis derived from PET images have been identified as prognostic factor or for the evaluation of treatment efficacy in cancer patients. To this end, a segmentation approach with high precision and repeatability is important. However, the implementation of a repeatable and accurate segmentation algorithm remains an ongoing challenge. Methods In this study, we compare two semi-automatic artificial intelligence (AI)-based segmentation methods with conventional semi-automatic segmentation approaches in terms of repeatability. One segmentation approach is based on a textural feature (TF) segmentation approach designed for accurate and repeatable segmentation of primary tumors and metastasis. Moreover, a convolutional neural network (CNN) is trained. The algorithms are trained, validated and tested using a lung cancer PET dataset. The segmentation accuracy of both segmentation approaches is compared using the Jaccard coefficient (JC). Additionally, the approaches are externally tested on a fully independent test-retest dataset. The repeatability of the methods is compared with those of two majority vote (MV2, MV3) approaches, 41%SUVMAX, and a SUV > 4 segmentation (SUV4). Repeatability is assessed with test-retest coefficients (TRT%) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). An ICC > 0.9 was regarded as representing excellent repeatability. Results The accuracy of the segmentations with the reference segmentation was good (JC median TF: 0.7, CNN: 0.73). Both segmentation approaches outperformed most other conventional segmentation methods in terms of test-retest coefficient (TRT% mean: TF: 13.0%, CNN: 13.9%, MV2: 14.1%, MV3: 28.1%, 41%SUVMAX: 28.1%, SUV4: 18.1%) and ICC (TF: 0.98, MV2: 0.97, CNN: 0.99, MV3: 0.73, SUV4: 0.81, and 41%SUVMAX: 0.68). Conclusion The semi-automatic AI-based segmentation approaches used in this study provided better repeatability than conventional segmentation approaches. Moreover, both algorithms lead to accurate segmentations for both primary tumors as well as metastasis and are therefore good candidates for PET tumor segmentation.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftEJNMMI Research
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 6-jan.-2021

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