Global Health & Medicine 2023;5(5):278-284.

Assessment of skeletal muscle using deep learning on low-dose CT images

Matsushita Y, Yokoyama T, Noguchi T, Nakagawa T


The visceral fat area obtained by computed tomography (CT) at the navel level is clinically used as an indicator of visceral fat obesity in Japan. Analysis of skeletal muscle mass using CT images at the navel level may potentially support concurrent assessment of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of deep learning models (DLMs) for skeletal muscle mass measurement using low-dose abdominal CT. The primary dataset used in this study included 11,494 low-dose abdominal CT images at navel level acquired in 7,370 subjects for metabolic syndrome screening. The publicly available Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) dataset, including 5,801 abdominal CT images, was used as a complementary dataset. For abdominal CT image segmentation, we used the SegU-net DLM with different filter size and hierarchical depth. The segmentation accuracy was assessed by measuring the dice similarity coefficient (DSC), cross-sectional area (CSA) error, and Bland-Altman plots. The proposed DLM achieved a DSC of 0.992 ± 0.012, a CSA error of 0.41 ± 1.89%, and a Bland-Altman percent difference of -0.1 ± 3.8%. The proposed DLM was able to automatically segment skeletal muscle mass measurements from lowdose abdominal CT with high accuracy.

KEYWORDS: deep learning, low-dose CT, skeletal muscle, image segmentation, sarcopenia

DOI: 10.35772/ghm.2023.01050

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