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A comparison of two different software packages for analysis of body composition using computed tomography images

Rollins, Katie E, Awwad, Amir, Macdonald, Ian A., Lobo, Dileep N.
Nutrition 2019 v.57 pp. 92-96
computed tomography, computer software, image analysis, lean body mass, patients, skeletal muscle, Canada, Switzerland
The analysis of body composition from computed tomography (CT) imaging has become widespread. However, the methodology used is far from established. Two main software packages are commonly used for body composition analysis, with results used interchangeably. However, the equivalence of these has not been well established. The aim of this study was to compare the results of body composition analysis performed using the two software packages to assess their equivalence.Triphasic abdominal CT scans from 50 patients were analyzed for a range of body composition measures at the third lumbar vertebral level using OsiriX (v7.5.1, Pixmeo, Switzerland) and SliceOmatic (v5.0, TomoVision, Montreal, Canada) software packages. Measures analyzed were skeletal muscle index (SMI), fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and mean skeletal muscle Hounsfield Units (SMHU).The overall mean SMI calculated using the two software packages was significantly different (SliceOmatic 51.33 versus OsiriX 53.77, P < 0.0001), and this difference remained significant for non-contrast and arterial scans. When FM and FFM were considered, again the results were significantly different (SliceOmatic 33.7 versus OsiriX 33.1 kg, P < 0.0001; SliceOmatic 52.1 versus OsiriX 54.2 kg, P < 0.0001, respectively), and this difference remained for all phases of CT. Finally, when analyzed, mean SMHU was also significantly different (SliceOmatic 32.7 versus OsiriX 33.1 HU, P = 0.046).All four body composition measures were statistically significantly different by the software package used for analysis; however, the clinical significance of these differences is doubtful. Nevertheless, the same software package should be used if serial measurements are being performed.