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


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.

DOI: 10.1111/evj.12637

Cite this paper

@article{Moller2017SemiautomatedIC, title={Semi-automated International Cartilage Repair Society scoring of equine articular cartilage lesions in optical coherence tomography images.}, author={Nikae C R te Moller and Minna Pitk{\"a}nen and Jaakko K Sarin and Sami P. V{\"a}{\"a}n{\"a}nen and Jukka Liukkonen and Isaac O Afara and Pia Henriikka Puhakka and Harold Brommer and Tuula Niemel{\"a} and R M Tulamo and D Arg{\"{u}elles Capilla and Juha T{\"{o}yr{\"a}s}, journal={Equine veterinary journal}, year={2017}, volume={49 4}, pages={552-555} }