BMC Medical Imaging (Jul 2012)

Improved assessment of multiple sclerosis lesion segmentation agreement via detection and outline error estimates

  • Wack David S,
  • Dwyer Michael G,
  • Bergsland Niels,
  • Di Perri Carol,
  • Ranza Laura,
  • Hussein Sara,
  • Ramasamy Deepa,
  • Poloni Guy,
  • Zivadinov Robert

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
p. 17


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Abstract Background Presented is the method “Detection and Outline Error Estimates” (DOEE) for assessing rater agreement in the delineation of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. The DOEE method divides operator or rater assessment into two parts: 1) Detection Error (DE) -- rater agreement in detecting the same regions to mark, and 2) Outline Error (OE) -- agreement of the raters in outlining of the same lesion. Methods DE, OE and Similarity Index (SI) values were calculated for two raters tested on a set of 17 fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) images of patients with MS. DE, OE, and SI values were tested for dependence with mean total area (MTA) of the raters' Region of Interests (ROIs). Results When correlated with MTA, neither DE (ρ = .056, p=.83) nor the ratio of OE to MTA (ρ = .23, p=.37), referred to as Outline Error Rate (OER), exhibited significant correlation. In contrast, SI is found to be strongly correlated with MTA (ρ = .75, p Conclusions The DE and OER indices are proposed as a better method than SI for comparing rater agreement of ROIs, which also provide specific information for raters to improve their agreement.