Clinical Impact and Generalizability of a Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Tool to Risk-Stratify Lung Nodules With CT.

Journal: Journal Of The American College Of Radiology : JACR

Objective: To evaluate whether an imaging classifier for radiology practice can improve lung nodule classification and follow-up.

Methods: A machine learning classifier was developed and trained using imaging data from the National Lung Screening Trial (NSLT) to produce a malignancy risk score (malignancy Similarity Index [mSI]) for individual lung nodules. In addition to NLST cohorts, external cohorts were developed from a tertiary referral lung cancer screening program data set and an external nonscreening data set of all nodules detected on CT. Performance of the mSI combined with Lung-RADS was compared with Lung-RADS alone and the Mayo and Brock risk calculators.

Results: We analyzed 963 subjects and 1,331 nodules across these cohorts. The mSI was comparable in accuracy (area under the curve = 0.89) to existing clinical risk models (area under the curve = 0.86-0.88) and independently predictive in the NLST cohort of 704 nodules. When compared with Lung-RADS, the mSI significantly increased sensitivity across all cohorts (25%-117%), with significant increases in specificity in the screening cohorts (17%-33%). When used in conjunction with Lung-RADS, use of mSI would result in earlier diagnoses and reduced follow-up across cohorts, including the potential for early diagnosis in 42% of malignant NLST nodules from prior-year CT scans.

Conclusions: A computer-assisted diagnosis software improved risk classification from chest CTs of screening and incidentally detected lung nodules compared with Lung-RADS. mSI added predictive value independent of existing radiological and clinical variables. These results suggest the generalizability and potential clinical impact of a tool that is straightforward to implement in practice.

Scott Adams, David Madtes, Brent Burbridge, Josiah Johnston, Ilya Goldberg, Eliot Siegel, Paul Babyn, Viswam Nair, Michael Calhoun
Relevant Conditions

Lung Nodules, Lung Cancer