Fully automated CT quantification of Epicardial adipose tissue by deep learning: A multicenter study

Frederic Commandeur, Markus Goeller, Aryabod Razipour, Sebastien Cadet, Michaela M. Hell, Jacek Kwiecinski, Xi Chen, Hyuk Jae Chang, Mohamed Marwan, Stephan Achenbach, Daniel S. Berman, Piotr J. Slomka, Balaji K. Tamarappoo, Damini Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the performance of deep learning for robust and fully automated quantification of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) from multicenter cardiac CT data. Materials and Methods: In this multicenter study, a convolutional neural network approach was trained to quantify EAT on non-contrast material-enhanced calcium-scoring CT scans from multiple cohorts, scanners, and protocols (n = 850). Deep learning performance was compared with the performance of three expert readers and with interobserver variability in a subset of 141 scans. The deep learning algorithm was incorporated into research software. Automated EAT progression was compared with expert measurements for 70 patients with baseline and follow-up scans. Results: Automated quantification was performed in a mean (6 standard deviation) time of 1.57 seconds 6 0.49, compared with 15 minutes for experts. Deep learning provided high agreement with expert manual quantification for all scans (R = 0.974; P, 001), with no significant bias (0.53 cm3; P =. 13). Manual EAT volumes measured by two experienced readers were highly correlated (R = 0.984; P, 001) but with a bias of 4.35 cm3 (P, 001). Deep learning quantifications were highly correlated with the measurements of both experts (R = 0.973 and R = 0.979; P, 001), with significant bias for reader 1 (5.11 cm3; P, 001) but not for reader 2 (0.88 cm3; P =. 26). EAT progression by deep learning correlated strongly with manual EAT progression (R = 0.905; P, 001) in 70 patients, with no significant bias (0.64 cm3; P =. 43), and was related to an increased noncalcified plaque burden quantified from coronary CT angiography (5.7% vs 1.8%; P =. 026). Conclusion: Deep learning allows rapid, robust, and fully automated quantification of EAT from calcium scoring CT. It performs as well as an expert reader and can be implemented for routine cardiovascular risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere190045
JournalRadiology: Artificial Intelligence
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© RSNA, 2019.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Artificial Intelligence


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