Background: The need for quantitative assessment of interstitial lung involvement on thin-section computed tomography (CT) has arisen in interstitial lung diseases including connective tissue disease (CTD). Purpose: To evaluate the capability of machine learning (ML)-based CT texture analysis for disease severity and treatment response assessments in comparison with qualitatively assessed thin-section CT for patients with CTD. Material and Methods: A total of 149 patients with CTD-related ILD (CTD-ILD) underwent initial and follow-up CT scans (total 364 paired serial CT examinations), pulmonary function tests, and serum KL-6 level tests. Based on all follow-up examination results, all paired serial CT examinations were assessed as “Stable” (n = 188), “Worse” (n = 98) and “Improved” (n = 78). Next, quantitative index changes were determined by software, and qualitative disease severity scores were assessed by consensus of two radiologists. To evaluate differences in each quantitative index as well as in disease severity score between paired serial CT examinations, Tukey's honestly significant difference (HSD) test was performed among the three statuses. Stepwise regression analyses were performed to determine changes in each pulmonary functional parameter and all quantitative indexes between paired serial CT scans. Results: Δ% normal lung, Δ% consolidation, Δ% ground glass opacity, Δ% reticulation, and Δdisease severity score showed significant differences among the three statuses (P < 0.05). All differences in pulmonary functional parameters were significantly affected by Δ% normal lung, Δ% reticulation, and Δ% honeycomb (0.16 ≤r2 ≤0.42; P < 0.05). Conclusion: ML-based CT texture analysis has better potential than qualitatively assessed thin-section CT for disease severity assessment and treatment response evaluation for CTD-ILD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging