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23 February 2012 Comparison of analysis methods for airway quantification
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Diseased airways have been known for several years as a possible contributing factor to airflow limitation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD). Quantification of disease severity through the evaluation of airway dimensions - wall thickness and lumen diameter - has gained increased attention, thanks to the availability of multi-slice computed tomography (CT). Novel approaches have focused on automated methods of measurement as a faster and more objective means that the visual assessment routinely employed in the clinic. Since the Full-Width Half-Maximum (FWHM) method of airway measurement was introduced two decades ago [1], several new techniques for quantifying airways have been detailed in the literature, but no approach has truly become a standard for such analysis. Our own research group has presented two alternative approaches for determining airway dimensions, one involving a minimum path and the other active contours [2, 3]. With an increasing number of techniques dedicated to the same goal, we decided to take a step back and analyze the differences of these methods. We consequently put to the test our two methods of analysis and the FWHM approach. We first measured a set of 5 airways from a phantom of known dimensions. Then we compared measurements from the three methods to those of two independent readers, performed on 35 airways in 5 patients. We elaborate on the differences of each approach and suggest conclusions on which could be defined as the best one.
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Benjamin L. Odry, Atilla P. Kiraly, Carol L. Novak, and David P. Naidich "Comparison of analysis methods for airway quantification", Proc. SPIE 8315, Medical Imaging 2012: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 83152R (23 February 2012);

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