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Equine Vet J. 2017 Jul;49(4):552-555. doi: 10.1111/evj.12637. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Semi-automated International Cartilage Repair Society scoring of equine articular cartilage lesions in optical coherence tomography images.

Author information

1
Department of Equine Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
3
Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.
4
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Elizade University, Ondo, Nigeria.
5
Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Arthroscopic optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising tool for the detailed evaluation of articular cartilage injuries. However, OCT-based articular cartilage scoring still relies on the operator's visual estimation.

OBJECTIVES:

To test the hypothesis that semi-automated International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scoring of chondral lesions seen in OCT images could enhance intra- and interobserver agreement of scoring and its accuracy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Validation study using equine cadaver tissue.

METHODS:

Osteochondral samples (n = 99) were prepared from 18 equine metacarpophalangeal joints and imaged using OCT. Custom-made software was developed for semi-automated ICRS scoring of cartilage lesions on OCT images. Scoring was performed visually and semi-automatically by five observers, and levels of inter- and intraobserver agreement were calculated. Subsequently, OCT-based scores were compared with ICRS scores based on light microscopy images of the histological sections of matching locations (n = 82).

RESULTS:

When semi-automated scoring of the OCT images was performed by multiple observers, mean levels of intraobserver and interobserver agreement were higher than those achieved with visual OCT scoring (83% vs. 77% and 74% vs. 33%, respectively). Histology-based scores from matching regions of interest agreed better with visual OCT-based scoring than with semi-automated OCT scoring; however, the accuracy of the software was improved by optimising the threshold combinations used to determine the ICRS score.

MAIN LIMITATIONS:

Images were obtained from cadavers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Semi-automated scoring software improved the reproducibility of ICRS scoring of chondral lesions in OCT images and made scoring less observer-dependent. The image analysis and segmentation techniques adopted in this study warrant further optimisation to achieve better accuracy with semi-automated ICRS scoring. In addition, studies on in vivo applications are required.

KEYWORDS:

arthroscopy; chondral defect; horse; interobserver agreement

PMID:
27592527
DOI:
10.1111/evj.12637
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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