Automated Measurements of Body Composition in Abdominal CT Scans Using Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Mortality in Patients With Cirrhosis

Hepatol Commun. 2021 Nov;5(11):1901-1910. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1768. Epub 2021 Jul 7.


Body composition measures derived from already available electronic medical records (computed tomography [CT] scans) can have significant value, but automation of measurements is needed for clinical implementation. We sought to use artificial intelligence to develop an automated method to measure body composition and test the algorithm on a clinical cohort to predict mortality. We constructed a deep learning algorithm using Google's DeepLabv3+ on a cohort of de-identified CT scans (n = 12,067). To test for the accuracy and clinical usefulness of the algorithm, we used a unique cohort of prospectively followed patients with cirrhosis (n = 238) who had CT scans performed. To assess model performance, we used the confusion matrix and calculated the mean accuracy of 0.977 ± 0.02 (0.975 ± 0.018 for the training and test sets, respectively). To assess for spatial overlap, we measured the mean intersection over union and mean boundary contour scores and found excellent overlap between the manual and automated methods with mean scores of 0.954 ± 0.030, 0.987 ± 0.009, and 0.948 ± 0.039 (0.983 ± 0.013 for the training and test set, respectively). Using these automated measurements, we found that body composition features were predictive of mortality in patients with cirrhosis. On multivariate analysis, the addition of body composition measures significantly improved prediction of mortality for patients with cirrhosis over Model for End-Stage Liver Disease alone (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The measurement of body composition can be automated using artificial intelligence and add significant value for incidental CTs performed for other clinical indications. This is proof of concept that this methodology could allow for wider implementation into the clinical arena.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / diagnostic imaging
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Body Composition*
  • Deep Learning
  • End Stage Liver Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • End Stage Liver Disease / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*