Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: The Association between the Adaptive Multiple Features Method and Fibrosis Outcomes

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Apr 1;195(7):921-929. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201607-1385OC.


Rationale: Adaptive multiple features method (AMFM) lung texture analysis software recognizes high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) patterns.

Objectives: To evaluate AMFM and visual quantification of HRCT patterns and their relationship with disease progression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Methods: Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in a clinical trial of prednisone, azathioprine, and N-acetylcysteine underwent HRCT at study start and finish. Proportion of lung occupied by ground glass, ground glass-reticular (GGR), honeycombing, emphysema, and normal lung densities were measured by AMFM and three radiologists, documenting baseline disease extent and postbaseline change. Disease progression includes composite mortality, hospitalization, and 10% FVC decline.

Measurements and main results: Agreement between visual and AMFM measurements was moderate for GGR (Pearson's correlation r = 0.60, P < 0.0001; mean difference = -0.03 with 95% limits of agreement of -0.19 to 0.14). Baseline extent of GGR was independently associated with disease progression when adjusting for baseline Gender-Age-Physiology stage and smoking status (hazard ratio per 10% visual GGR increase = 1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20-3.28, P = 0.008; and hazard ratio per 10% AMFM GGR increase = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.01-1.84, P = 0.04). Postbaseline visual and AMFM GGR trajectories were correlated with postbaseline FVC trajectory (r = -0.30, 95% CI = -0.46 to -0.11, P = 0.002; and r = -0.25, 95% CI = -0.42 to -0.06, P = 0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: More extensive baseline visual and AMFM fibrosis (as measured by GGR densities) is independently associated with elevated hazard for disease progression. Postbaseline change in AMFM-measured and visually measured GGR densities are modestly correlated with change in FVC. AMFM-measured fibrosis is an automated adjunct to existing prognostic markers and may allow for study enrichment with subjects at increased disease progression risk.

Keywords: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; multidetector computed tomography; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*