Background The formation and growth of cysts in kidneys, and often liver, in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) cause progressive increases in total kidney volume (TKV) and liver volume (TLV). Laborious and time-consuming manual tracing of kidneys and liver is the current gold standard. We developed a fully automated segmentation method for TKV and TLV measurement that uses a deep learning network optimized to perform semantic segmentation of kidneys and liver.Methods We used 80% of a set of 440 abdominal magnetic resonance images (T2-weighted HASTE co-ronal sequences) from patients with ADPKD to train the network and the remaining 20% for validation. Both kidneys and liver were also segmented manually. To evaluate the method’s performance, we used an additional test set of images from 100 patients, 45 of whom were also involved in longitudinal analyses.Results TKV and TLV measured by the automated approach correlated highly with manually traced TKV and TLV (intraclass correlation coefficients, 0.998 and 0.996, respectively), with low bias and high precision (<0.1%±2.7% for TKV and-1.6%±3.1% for TLV); this was comparable with inter-reader variability of manual tracing (<0.1%±3.5% for TKV and-1.5%±4.8% for TLV). For longitudinal analysis, bias and precision were <0.1%±3.2% for TKV and 1.4%±2.9% for TLV growth.Conclusions These findings demonstrate a fully automated segmentation method that measures TKV, TLV, and changes in these parameters as accurately as manual tracing. This technique may facilitate future studies in which automated and reproducible TKV and TLV measurements are needed to assess disease severity, disease progression, and treatment response.
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