Interstitial lung disease: A quantitative study using the adaptive multiple feature method

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Feb;159(2):519-25. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.159.2.9707145.


We have previously described an adaptive multiple feature method (AMFM) for the objective assessment of global and regional changes in pulmonary parenchyma to detect emphysema. This computerized method uses a combination of statistical and fractal texture features for characterization of lung tissues based upon high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans. This present study was a substantial extension of the AMFM to simultaneously discriminate between multiple pulmonary disease processes. Normal subjects and those with emphysema, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), or sarcoidosis were studied. The AMFM was compared with two currently utilized computer-based methods: mean lung density (MLD) and the histogram analysis (HIST). Globally, when comparing two-subject groups the AMFM overall accuracy was 2 to 18% better than the overall accuracy of MLD and as much as 36% better than the accuracy of the HIST methods. In three-subject group discrimination tasks, the AMFM performed 7 to 27% better than the MLD and 4 to 36% better than the HIST methods. Finally, in discriminating all four subject groups at a time, the AMFM overall accuracy was 81%, which was 21% better than the MLD and 25% better than the HIST method. In most three-subject group comparisons and in the four-subject group comparison, the AMFM was significantly (p < 0.01) better than the MLD and HIST methods. Next, the AMFM was applied to local discrimination between normal and each disease group individually. The normal versus emphysema, normal versus IPF, and normal versus sarcoidosis samples were discriminated with an accuracy of 95, 86, and 77%, respectively. The AMFM is an objective quantitative method that can be adapted for successful discrimination of multiple parenchymal lung diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed