The proposal and implementation of a computational framework for the quantification of structural renal damage from 99mTc-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scans. The aim of this work is to propose, implement, and validate a computational framework for the quantification of structural renal damage from DMSA scans and in an observer-independent manner.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
From a set of 16 pediatric DMSA-positive scans and 16 matched controls and using both expert-guided and automatic approaches, a set of image-derived quantitative indicators was computed based on the relative size, intensity and histogram distribution of the lesion. A correlation analysis was conducted in order to investigate the association of these indicators with other clinical data of interest in this scenario, including C-reactive protein (CRP), white cell count, vesicoureteral reflux, fever, relative perfusion, and the presence of renal sequelae in a 6-month follow-up DMSA scan.
A fully automatic lesion detection and segmentation system was able to successfully classify DMSA-positive from negative scans (AUC=0.92, sensitivity=81% and specificity=94%). The image-computed relative size of the lesion correlated with the presence of fever and CRP levels (p<0.05), and a measurement derived from the distribution histogram of the lesion obtained significant performance results in the detection of permanent renal damage (AUC=0.86, sensitivity=100% and specificity=75%).
The proposal and implementation of a computational framework for the quantification of structural renal damage from DMSA scans showed a promising potential to complement visual diagnosis and non-imaging indicators.