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Deep Learning Denoising of Low-Dose Computed Tomography Chest Images: A Quantitative and Qualitative Image Analysis

Azour, Lea; Hu, Yunan; Ko, Jane P; Chen, Baiyu; Knoll, Florian; Alpert, Jeffrey B; Brusca-Augello, Geraldine; Mason, Derek M; Wickstrom, Maj L; Kwon, Young Joon Fred; Babb, James; Liang, Zhengrong; Moore, William H
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To assess deep learning denoised (DLD) computed tomography (CT) chest images at various low doses by both quantitative and qualitative perceptual image analysis. METHODS:Simulated noise was inserted into sinogram data from 32 chest CTs acquired at 100 mAs, generating anatomically registered images at 40, 20, 10, and 5 mAs. A DLD model was developed, with 23 scans selected for training, 5 for validation, and 4 for test.Quantitative analysis of perceptual image quality was assessed with Structural SIMilarity Index (SSIM) and Fréchet Inception Distance (FID). Four thoracic radiologists graded overall diagnostic image quality, image artifact, visibility of small structures, and lesion conspicuity. Noise-simulated and denoised image series were evaluated in comparison with one another, and in comparison with standard 100 mAs acquisition at the 4 mAs levels. Statistical tests were conducted at the 2-sided 5% significance level, with multiple comparison correction. RESULTS:At the same mAs levels, SSIM and FID between noise-simulated and reconstructed DLD images indicated that images were closer to a perfect match with increasing mAs (closer to 1 for SSIM, and 0 for FID).In comparing noise-simulated and DLD images to standard-dose 100-mAs images, DLD improved SSIM and FID. Deep learning denoising improved SSIM of 40-, 20-, 10-, and 5-mAs simulations in comparison with standard-dose 100-mAs images, with change in SSIM from 0.91 to 0.94, 0.87 to 0.93, 0.67 to 0.87, and 0.54 to 0.84, respectively. Deep learning denoising improved FID of 40-, 20-, 10-, and 5-mAs simulations in comparison with standard-dose 100-mAs images, with change in FID from 20 to 13, 46 to 21, 104 to 41, and 148 to 69, respectively.Qualitative image analysis showed no significant difference in lesion conspicuity between DLD images at any mAs in comparison with 100-mAs images. Deep learning denoising images at 10 and 5 mAs were rated lower for overall diagnostic image quality (P < 0.001), and at 5 mAs lower for overall image artifact and visibility of small structures (P = 0.002), in comparison with 100 mAs. CONCLUSIONS:Deep learning denoising resulted in quantitative improvements in image quality. Qualitative assessment demonstrated DLD images at or less than 10 mAs to be rated inferior to standard-dose images.
PMID: 36790870
ISSN: 1532-3145
CID: 5432132

Prevalence of Adenopathy at Chest Computed Tomography After Vaccination for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

McGuinness, Georgeann; Alpert, Jeffrey B; Brusca-Augello, Geraldine; Azour, Lea; Ko, Jane P; Tamizuddin, Farah; Gozansky, Elliott K; Moore, William H
OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to determine the prevalence of axillary and subpectoral (SP) lymph nodes after ipsilateral COVID-19 vaccine administration on chest computed tomography (CT). METHODS:Subjects with chest CTs between 2 and 25 days after a first or second vaccine dose, December 15, 2020, to February 12, 2021, were included. Orthogonal measures of the largest axillary and SP nodes were recorded by 2 readers blinded to vaccine administration and clinical details. A mean nodal diameter discrepancy of ≥6 mm between contralateral stations was considered positive for asymmetry. Correlation with the side of vaccination, using a Spearman rank correlation, was performed on the full cohort and after excluding patients with diseases associated with adenopathy. RESULTS:Of the 138 subjects (81 women, 57 men; mean [SD] age, 74.4 ± 11.7 years), 48 (35%) had asymmetrically enlarged axillary and/or SP lymph nodes, 42 (30%) had ipsilateral, and 6 (4%) had contralateral to vaccination ( P = 0.003). Exclusion of 29 subjects with conditions associated with adenopathy showed almost identical correlation, with asymmetric nodes in 32 of 109 (29%) ipsilateral and in 5 of 109 (5%) contralateral to vaccination ( P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS:Axillary and/or SP lymph nodes ipsilateral to vaccine administration represents a clinical conundrum. Asymmetric nodes were detected at CT in 30% of subjects overall and 29% of subjects without conditions associated with adenopathy, approximately double the prevalence rate reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by vaccine manufacturers. When interpreting examinations correlation with vaccine administration timing and site is important for pragmatic management.
PMID: 36571247
ISSN: 1532-3145
CID: 5418932

Current imaging of PE and emerging techniques: is there a role for artificial intelligence?

Azour, Lea; Ko, Jane P; Toussie, Danielle; Gomez, Geraldine Villasana; Moore, William H
Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is a critical, potentially life-threatening finding on contrast-enhanced cross-sectional chest imaging. Timely and accurate diagnosis of thrombus acuity and extent directly influences patient management, and outcomes. Technical and interpretive pitfalls may present challenges to the radiologist, and by extension, pose nuance in the development and integration of artificial intelligence support tools. This review delineates imaging considerations for diagnosis of acute PE, and rationale, hurdles and applications of artificial intelligence for the PE task.
PMID: 35569280
ISSN: 1873-4499
CID: 5249132

Combined whole-lesion radiomic and iodine analysis for differentiation of pulmonary tumors

Azour, Lea; Ko, Jane P; O'Donnell, Thomas; Patel, Nihal; Bhattacharji, Priya; Moore, William H
Quantitative radiomic and iodine imaging features have been explored for diagnosis and characterization of tumors. In this work, we invistigate combined whole-lesion radiomic and iodine analysis for the differentiation of pulmonary tumors on contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT (DECT) chest images. 100 biopsy-proven solid lung lesions on contrast-enhanced DECT chest exams within 3 months of histopathologic sampling were identified. Lesions were volumetrically segmented using open-source software. Lesion segmentations and iodine density volumes were loaded into a radiomics prototype for quantitative analysis. Univariate analysis was performed to determine differences in volumetric iodine concentration (mean, median, maximum, minimum, 10th percentile, 90th percentile) and first and higher order radiomic features (n = 1212) between pulmonary tumors. Analyses were performed using a 2-sample t test, and filtered for false discoveries using Benjamini-Hochberg method. 100 individuals (mean age 65 ± 13 years; 59 women) with 64 primary and 36 metastatic lung lesions were included. Only one iodine concentration parameter, absolute minimum iodine, significantly differed between primary and metastatic pulmonary tumors (FDR-adjusted p = 0.015, AUC 0.69). 310 (FDR-adjusted p = 0.0008 to p = 0.0491) radiomic features differed between primary and metastatic lung tumors. Of these, 21 features achieved AUC ≥ 0.75. In subset analyses of lesions imaged by non-CTPA protocol (n = 72), 191 features significantly differed between primary and metastatic tumors, 19 of which achieved AUC ≥ 0.75. In subset analysis of tumors without history of prior treatment (n = 59), 40 features significantly differed between primary and metastatic tumors, 11 of which achieved AUC ≥ 0.75. Volumetric radiomic analysis provides differentiating capability beyond iodine quantification. While a high number of radiomic features differentiated primary versus metastatic pulmonary tumors, fewer features demonstrated good individual discriminatory utility.
PMID: 35821374
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 5269172

Pulmonary Pathology of End-Stage COVID-19 Disease in Explanted Lungs and Outcomes After Lung Transplantation

Flaifel, Abdallah; Kwok, Benjamin; Ko, Jane; Chang, Stephanie; Smith, Deane; Zhou, Fang; Chiriboga, Luis A; Zeck, Briana; Theise, Neil; Rudym, Darya; Lesko, Melissa; Angel, Luis; Moreira, Andre; Narula, Navneet
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may develop end-stage lung disease requiring lung transplantation. We report the clinical course, pulmonary pathology with radiographic correlation, and outcomes after lung transplantation in three patients who developed chronic respiratory failure due to postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS:A retrospective histologic evaluation of explanted lungs due to coronavirus disease 2019 was performed. RESULTS:None of the patients had known prior pulmonary disease. The major pathologic findings in the lung explants were proliferative and fibrotic phases of diffuse alveolar damage, interstitial capillary neoangiogenesis, and mononuclear inflammation, specifically macrophages, with varying numbers of T and B lymphocytes. The fibrosis varied from early collagen deposition to more pronounced interstitial collagen deposition; however, pulmonary remodeling with honeycomb change was not present. Other findings included peribronchiolar metaplasia, microvascular thrombosis, recanalized thrombi in muscular arteries, and pleural adhesions. No patients had either recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or allograft rejection following transplant at this time. CONCLUSIONS:The major pathologic findings in the lung explants of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest ongoing fibrosis, prominent macrophage infiltration, neoangiogenesis, and microvascular thrombosis. Characterization of pathologic findings could help develop novel management strategies.
PMID: 34999755
ISSN: 1943-7722
CID: 5118212

PE MIMICS: a structured approach for the emergency radiologist in the evaluation of chest pain

Dempsey, P J; Yates, A; Power, J W; Murphy, M C; Ko, J P; Hutchinson, B
Chest pain is a common reason for presentation to the emergency department. In many cases, a CTPA or CT thoracic aorta is performed during work up to assess for pulmonary embolism and aortic pathology, critical diagnoses that can be difficult to out rule clinically. However, the causes of chest pain are myriad. It is therefore crucial for the interpreting radiologist to be cognizant of other potential etiologies when interpreting these studies. The purpose of this pictorial essay is to highlight the causes of non-PE or aortic-related chest pain and provide radiologists with a structured approach to interpreting these studies, ensuring a comprehensive search strategy so that important pathologies are not missed.
PMID: 35102473
ISSN: 1438-1435
CID: 5153452

Pitfalls and Pearls of Imaging Non-traumatic Thoracic Aortic Disease

Shmukler, Anna; Alis, Jonathan; Patel, Smita; Latson, Larry; Ko, Jane P
Imaging of the thoracic aorta is a common request in both the acute and outpatient settings, playing a crucial role in diagnosis and treatment planning of aortic disease. The findings of aortic pathology may be obvious or occult on imaging. Recognizing subtle changes is essential and may lead to early detection and prevention of serious morbidity and mortality. Knowledge of the anatomy and understanding the pathophysiology of aortic disease, as well as selecting the appropriate imaging modality and protocol will enable prompt diagnosis and early intervention of aortic pathology. Currently, computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography of the aorta are the most commonly used imaging modalities to evaluate the aorta. This review focuses on a spectrum of aortic pathology manifestations on computed tomography and magnetic resonance, including atherosclerosis and acute aortic syndromes, highlighting diagnostic challenges and approaches to aid in image interpretation.
PMID: 35688532
ISSN: 1558-5034
CID: 5248572

Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Evaluation: Pearls and Pitfalls

Ko, Jane P; Bagga, Barun; Gozansky, Elliott; Moore, William H
Lung nodules are frequently encountered while interpreting chest CTs and are challenging to detect, characterize, and manage given they can represent both benign or malignant etiologies. An understanding of features associated with malignancy and causes of interpretive pitfalls is helpful to avoid misdiagnoses. This review addresses pertinent topics related to the etiologies for missed lung nodules on radiography and CT. Additionally, CT imaging technical pitfalls and challenges in addition to issues in the evaluation of nodule morphology, attenuation, and size will be discussed. Nodule management guidelines will be addressed as well as recent investigations that further our understanding of lung nodules.
PMID: 35688534
ISSN: 1558-5034
CID: 5248582

Inter-Reader Variability of Volumetric Subsolid Pulmonary Nodule Radiomic Features

Azour, Lea; Moore, William H; O'Donnell, Thomas; Truong, Mylene T; Babb, James; Niu, Bowen; Wimmer, Andreas; Kiumehr, Saman; Ko, Jane P
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the inter-observer consistency for subsolid pulmonary nodule radiomic features. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:Subsolid nodules were selected by reviewing radiology reports of CT examinations performed December 1, 2015 to April 1, 2016. Patients with CTs at two time points were included in this study. There were 55 patients with subsolid nodules, of whom 14 had two nodules. Of 69 subsolid nodules, 66 were persistent at the second time point, yielding 135 lesions for segmentation. Two thoracic radiologists and an imaging fellow segmented the lesions using a semi-automated volumetry algorithm (Syngo.via Vb20, Siemens). Coefficient of variation (CV) was used to assess consistency of 91 quantitative measures extracted from the subsolid nodule segmentations, including first and higher order texture features. The accuracy of segmentation was visually graded by an experienced thoracic radiologist. Influencing factors on radiomic feature consistency and segmentation accuracy were assessed using generalized estimating equation analyses and the Exact Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS:Mean patient age was 71 (38-93 years), with 39 women and 16 men. Mean nodule volume was 1.39mL, range .03-48.2mL, for 135 nodules. Several radiomic features showed high inter-reader consistency (CV<5%), including entropy, uniformity, sphericity, and spherical disproportion. Descriptors such as surface area and energy had low consistency across inter-reader segmentations (CV>10%). Nodule percent solid component and attenuation influenced inter-reader variability of some radiomic features. The presence of contrast did not significantly affect the consistency of subsolid nodule radiomic features. Near perfect segmentation, within 5% of actual nodule size, was achieved in 68% of segmentations, and very good segmentation, within 25% of actual nodule size, in 94%. Morphologic features including nodule margin and shape (each p <0.01), and presence of air bronchograms (p = 0.004), bubble lucencies (p = 0.02) and broad pleural contact (p < 0.01) significantly affected the probability of near perfect segmentation. Stroke angle (p = 0.001) and length (p < 0.001) also significantly influenced probability of near perfect segmentation. CONCLUSIONS:The inter-observer consistency of radiomic features for subsolid pulmonary nodules varies, with high consistency for several features, including sphericity, spherical disproportion, and first and higher order entropy, and normalized non-uniformity. Nodule morphology influences the consistency of subsolid nodule radiomic features, and the accuracy of subsolid nodule segmentation.
PMID: 33610452
ISSN: 1878-4046
CID: 4794062

Evidence for Continuity of Interstitial Spaces Within and Outside the Human Lung [Meeting Abstract]

Ordner, Jeffrey; Chiriboga, Luis; Zeck, Briana; Majd, Mariam; Zhou, Fang; Moreira, Andre; Ko, Jane; Imam, Rami; Wells, Rebecca; Theise, Neil; Narula, Navneet
ISSN: 0023-6837
CID: 5243252