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Manual vs AI based segmentation for Dosimetry

Manual Versus Artificial Intelligence-Based Segmentations as a Pre-processing Step in Whole-body PET Dosimetry Calculations

by Joyce van Sluis, Walter Noordzij, Elisabeth G. E. de Vries, Iris C. Kok, Derk Jan A. de Groot, Mathilde Jalving, Marjolijn N. Lub-de Hooge, Adrienne H. Brouwers & Ronald Boellaard 

Mol Imaging Biol (2022). doi: 10.1007/s11307-022-01775-5


As novel tracers are continuously under development, it is important to obtain reliable radiation dose estimates to optimize the amount of activity that can be administered while keeping radiation burden within acceptable limits.

Organ segmentation is required for quantification of specific uptake in organs of interest and whole-body dosimetry but is a time-consuming task which induces high interobserver variability. Therefore, we explored using manual segmentations versus an artificial intelligence (AI)-based automated segmentation tool as a pre-processing step for calculating whole-body effective doses to determine the influence of variability in volumetric whole-organ segmentations on dosimetry.

PET/CT data of six patients undergoing imaging with 89Zr-labelled pembrolizumab were included. Manual organ segmentations were performed, using in-house developed software, and biodistribution information was obtained. Based on the activity biodistribution information, residence times were calculated. The residence times served as input for OLINDA/EXM version 1.0 (Vanderbilt University, 2003) to calculate the whole-body effective dose (mSv/MBq).

Subsequently, organ segmentations were performed using RECOMIA, a cloud-based AI platform for nuclear medicine and radiology research. The workflow for calculating residence times and whole-body effective doses, as described above, was repeated.

Data were acquired on days 2, 4, and 7 post-injection, resulting in 18 scans. Overall analysis time per scan was approximately 4 h for manual segmentations compared to ≤ 30 min using AI-based segmentations. Median Jaccard similarity coefficients between manual and AI-based segmentations varied from 0.05 (range 0.00–0.14) for the pancreas to 0.78 (range 0.74–0.82) for the lungs. Whole-body effective doses differed minimally for the six patients with a median difference in received mSv/MBq of 0.52% (range 0.15–1.95%).

This pilot study suggests that whole-body dosimetry calculations can benefit from fast, automated AI-based whole organ segmentations.