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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 834262, 8 pages
Research Article

Computer-Aided Quantification of Interstitial Lung Disease from High Resolution Computed Tomography Images in Systemic Sclerosis: Correlation with Visual Reader-Based Score and Physiologic Tests

1Department of Rheumatology, Polytechnic University of the Marche, Ancona, Italy
2Department of Radiology, Polytechnic University of the Marche, Ancona, Italy
3Division of Rheumatology, School of Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

Received 30 July 2014; Revised 29 October 2014; Accepted 31 October 2014

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Tanaka

Copyright © 2015 Fausto Salaffi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the performance of a computerized-aided method (CaM) for quantification of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in patients with systemic sclerosis and to determine its correlation with the conventional visual reader-based score (CoVR) and the pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Methods. Seventy-nine patients were enrolled. All patients underwent chest high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scored by two radiologists adopting the CoVR. All HRCT images were then analysed by a CaM using a DICOM software. The relationships among the lung segmentation analysis, the readers, and the PFTs results were calculated using linear regression analysis and Pearson’s correlation. Receiver operating curve analysis was performed for determination of CaM extent threshold. Results. A strong correlation between CaM and CoVR was observed (). The CaM showed a significant negative correlation with forced vital capacity (FVC) () and the single breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity of the lung (DLco) (). A CaM optimal extent threshold of 20% represented the best compromise between sensitivity (75.6%) and specificity (97.4%). Conclusions. CaM quantification of SSc-ILD can be useful in the assessment of extent of lung disease and may provide reliable tool in daily clinical practice and clinical trials.