Is STAPLE algorithm confident to assess segmentation methods in PET imaging?
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Purpose: Accurate tumor segmentation in [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography is crucial for tumor response assessment and target volume definition in radiation therapy. Evaluation of segmentation methods from clinical data without ground truth is usually based on physicians' manual delineations. In this context, the Simultaneous Truth and Performance Level Estimation algorithm could be useful to manage the multi-observers variability. In this paper, we evaluated how this
... ted how this algorithm could accurately estimate the ground truth in PET imaging. Methods: Complete evaluation study using different criteria was performed on simulated data. The STAPLE algorithm was applied to manual and automatic segmentation results. A specific configuration of the implementation provided by the Computational Radiology Laboratory was used. Results: Consensus obtained by the STAPLE algorithm from manual delineations appeared to be more accurate than manual delineations themselves (80% of overlap). An improvement of the accuracy was also observed when applying the STAPLE algorithm to automatic segmentations results. Conclusions: The STAPLE algorithm, with the configuration used in this paper, is more appropriate than manual delineations alone or automatic segmentations results alone to estimate the ground truth in PET imaging. Therefore, it might be preferred to assess the accuracy of tumor segmentation methods in PET imaging.