3D liver segmentation helps identify fatty liver on cardiac CT: Study

Published On 2021-07-27 14:12 GMT   |   Update On 2021-07-27 14:12 GMT

A 3D liver segmentation technique can be useful to quickly diagnose and measure fatty liver on cardiac CT exams, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT). 

The research has also been published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

The researchers sought to evaluate the reproducibility of a novel approach of three dimensional, 3D liver volume segmentation to identify fatty liver on non-contrast cardiac CT, and compare measures with previously validated 2D segmentation CT criteria for measurement of liver fat.


Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease (NAFLD) shares multiple risk factors with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and independently predicts increased risk of CVD and related outcomes.

Liver fat measures generated by 2D segmentation on cardiac CT have been correlated with the gold standard of invasive liver biopsy and used in research studies. But the 2D method is inaccurate for diagnosing low-fat content and lacks stability with repeat measures", Dr. Suvasini Lakshmanan, an advanced cardiac imaging fellow and the presenter was quoted.


Dr. Lakshmanan further stated that "Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) shares multiple risk factors with cardiovascular disease and independently predicts increased risk of cardiovascular disease and its associated adverse outcomes".

A previous study named, the EVAPORATE trial offered a rare chance to confirm the prevalence and progression of NAFLD on cardiac CT in a high-risk population, according to Dr. Lakshmanan. This trial was conducted over 18 months, wherein the patients in the EVAPORATE trial were kept on stable statin therapy with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (40 to 115 mg/dl) and persistently high triglyceride levels.


In a new study conducted by a group of researchers from the Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, U.S.A., both 3D and 2D segmentation in over a total of 100 patients receiving serial non-contrast cardiac CT examinations were included.

Following which the fatty liver was diagnosed based on liver attenuation of less than 40 Hounsfield units. Both 2D and 3D liver segmentation was performed on the non-contrast cardiac CT images using software from Philips Healthcare, according to Dr. Lakshmanan.


Following which they found that the 3D method was stable and reproducible for measuring liver fat. Also, they found a kappa of 88% when 2D and 3D liver measurements both identified fatty liver, indicating excellent agreement.

Dr. Suvasini Lakshmanan was quoted as, "The measure can serve as an imaging biomarker to understand mechanistic correlations between atherosclerosis, fatty liver, and cardiovascular disease risk."

She concluded by stating, "Nonetheless serial assessments of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) on cardiac CT will allow for future research to evaluate the effect of anti-inflammatory or anti-atherosclerotic therapies on cardiovascular disease and fatty liver."

For more information refer to:

Measurement Of Liver Fat By A Novel 3d Segmentation Method Of Liver On Non Contrast Cardiac Ct In Evaporate Cohort: Methods And Reproducibility 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2021.06.243

Article Source : Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography

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