In the context of brain tumour response assessment, deep learning-based three-dimensional (3D) tumour segmentation has shown potential to enter the routine radiological workflow. The purpose of the present study was to perform an external evaluation of a state-of-the-art deep learning 3D brain tumour segmentation algorithm (HD-GLIO) on an independent cohort of consecutive, post-operative patients. For 66 consecutive magnetic resonance imaging examinations, we compared delineations of contrast-enhancing (CE) tumour lesions and non-enhancing T2/FLAIR hyperintense abnormality (NE) lesions by the HD-GLIO algorithm and radiologists using Dice similarity coefficients (Dice). Volume agreement was assessed using concordance correlation coefficients (CCCs) and Bland-Altman plots. The algorithm performed very well regarding the segmentation of NE volumes (median Dice = 0.79) and CE tumour volumes larger than 1.0 cm3 (median Dice = 0.86). If considering all cases with CE tumour lesions, the performance dropped significantly (median Dice = 0.40). Volume agreement was excellent with CCCs of 0.997 (CE tumour volumes) and 0.922 (NE volumes). The findings have implications for the application of the HD-GLIO algorithm in the routine radiological workflow where small contrast-enhancing tumours will constitute a considerable share of the follow-up cases. Our study underlines that independent validations on clinical datasets are key to asserting the robustness of deep learning algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number363
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023


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