New Computerized Indices for Quantitative Evaluation of Depression and Asymmetry in Patients With Chest Wall Deformities

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An evaluation index that can quantitatively assess the severity of chest wall deformities is essential to prepare and assess corrective surgical operations for patients with these deformities, including funnel chest patients. In previous studies, our group proposed several automatically calculated indices that represent the severity of depression and asymmetry in the chest wall. These indices showed sufficient performance in most cases of deformities, including those involving asymmetric and symmetric depression; however, their linearity declined when assessing complex deformities. The purpose of this study is to propose two automated indices that provide linear evaluation output for all types of chest wall deformities, including complex deformities, and to evaluate their performance and clinical feasibility. Six reference chest wall boundary curves were obtained from 60 computed tomography (CT) images of a normal chest. Next, an active contour model-based image processing technique was used to extract boundary curves from images of patients with real chest wall deformities. Third, the required parameters were extracted from the boundary curves and the targeted indices were calculated. Finally, the performance of the proposed indices was evaluated using 33 synthetic images and 60 real chest CT images of patients with chest wall deformities. The newly proposed indices can be automatically calculated from the original CT images and showed sufficient performance for all types of chest wall deformities. We believe that the newly proposed indices can facilitate pre- and postoperative evaluation of chest wall deformities in clinical practice.

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