Histogram Analysis of Adrenal Lesions With a Single Measurement for 10th Percentile: Feasibility and Incremental Value for Diagnosing Adenomas.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Dec;211(6):1227-1233. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.19159. Epub 2018 Oct 9.
Rocha TO1, Albuquerque TC1, Nather JC Jr1, Salmon CEG1, Tucci S Jr2, Wang JZ3, Westphalen AC3, Elias J Jr1, Muglia VF1.
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess whether histogram analysis of adrenal lesions from a single measurement of mean attenuation and SD, using a threshold of 10% of negative voxels, can replace voxel counting while maintaining diagnostic accuracy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a 4-year period, 325 adrenal lesions were detected on CT examinations of 308 consecutive patients. After exclusions, 91 patients with 108 lesions, including 20 malignant lesions and 88 adenomas (defined by histologic results or follow-up), were enrolled. Two observers retrospectively measured lesion size, mean attenuation value, and SD attenuation value and generated a pixel histogram. The 10th percentile (P10) was obtained from the conventional histogram analysis and was also calculated from the following formula: P10 = mean attenuation - (1.282 × SD). Diagnostic accuracies of the mean attenuation criterion, histogram analysis, and calculated 10th percentile were compared.
RESULTS: The study group was composed of 74 patients with 88 adenomas and 17 patients with 20 malignant lesions, including seven adrenocortical carcinomas and 13 metastases; 93.1% of histograms showed normal distribution. The correlation between histogram analysis and calculated 10th percentile was 0.9827 and 0.9843 for reader 1 and 2 (p < 0.00001 for both). For both readers, sensitivity and specificity of the mean attenuation analysis were 65.9% (95% CI, 55.0-75.7%) and 100.0% (95% CI, 83.2-100%). The sensitivity and specificity of histogram analysis and calculated 10th percentile were the same, 87.5% (95% CI, 78.7-93.6%) and 95.0% (95% CI, 75.1-99.8%), for both readers. The increment increase in sensitivity was significant (p < 0.001), whereas the decrease in specificity was not (p = 0.15).
CONCLUSION: For most adrenal lesions, the pixel attenuation has a gaussian distribution, allowing estimation of 10th percentile with a single measurement. The accuracy of histogram analysis and calculated 10th percentile outperformed the mean attenuation as a diagnostic criterion for nonfunctioning adenomas.