Micro-computed tomography (mu CT)-based imaging plays a key role in monitoring disease progression and response to candidate drugs in various animal models of human disease, but manual image processing is still highly time-consuming and prone to operator bias. Focusing on an established mouse model of bleomycin (BLM)-induced lung fibrosis we document, here, the ability of a fully automated deep-learning (DL)-based model to improve and speed-up lung segmentation and the precise measurement of morphological and functional biomarkers in both the whole lung and in individual lobes. mu CT-DL whose results were overall highly consistent with those of more conventional, especially histological, analyses, allowed to cut down by approximately 45-fold the time required to analyze the entire dataset and to longitudinally follow fibrosis evolution and response to the human-use-approved drug Nintedanib, using both inspiratory and expiratory mu CT. Particularly significant advantages of this mu CT-DL approach, are: (i) its reduced experimental variability, due to the fact that each animal acts as its own control and the measured, operator bias-free biomarkers can be quantitatively compared across experiments; (ii) its ability to monitor longitudinally the spatial distribution of fibrotic lesions, thus eliminating potential confounding effects associated with the more severe fibrosis observed in the apical region of the left lung and the compensatory effects taking place in the right lung; (iii) the animal sparing afforded by its non-invasive nature and high reliability; and (iv) the fact that it can be integrated into different drug discovery pipelines with a substantial increase in both the speed and robustness of the evaluation of new candidate drugs. The mu CT-DL approach thus lends itself as a powerful new tool for the precision preclinical monitoring of BLM-induced lung fibrosis and other disease models as well. Its ease of operation and use of standard imaging instrumentation make it easily transferable to other laboratories and to other experimental settings, including clinical diagnostic applications.

A fully automated micro‑CT deep learning approach for precision preclinical investigation of lung fibrosis progression and response to therapy

Vincenzi, Elena;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Micro-computed tomography (mu CT)-based imaging plays a key role in monitoring disease progression and response to candidate drugs in various animal models of human disease, but manual image processing is still highly time-consuming and prone to operator bias. Focusing on an established mouse model of bleomycin (BLM)-induced lung fibrosis we document, here, the ability of a fully automated deep-learning (DL)-based model to improve and speed-up lung segmentation and the precise measurement of morphological and functional biomarkers in both the whole lung and in individual lobes. mu CT-DL whose results were overall highly consistent with those of more conventional, especially histological, analyses, allowed to cut down by approximately 45-fold the time required to analyze the entire dataset and to longitudinally follow fibrosis evolution and response to the human-use-approved drug Nintedanib, using both inspiratory and expiratory mu CT. Particularly significant advantages of this mu CT-DL approach, are: (i) its reduced experimental variability, due to the fact that each animal acts as its own control and the measured, operator bias-free biomarkers can be quantitatively compared across experiments; (ii) its ability to monitor longitudinally the spatial distribution of fibrotic lesions, thus eliminating potential confounding effects associated with the more severe fibrosis observed in the apical region of the left lung and the compensatory effects taking place in the right lung; (iii) the animal sparing afforded by its non-invasive nature and high reliability; and (iv) the fact that it can be integrated into different drug discovery pipelines with a substantial increase in both the speed and robustness of the evaluation of new candidate drugs. The mu CT-DL approach thus lends itself as a powerful new tool for the precision preclinical monitoring of BLM-induced lung fibrosis and other disease models as well. Its ease of operation and use of standard imaging instrumentation make it easily transferable to other laboratories and to other experimental settings, including clinical diagnostic applications.
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Descrizione: A fully automated micro-CT deep learning approach for precision preclinical investigation of lung fibrosis progression and response to therapy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1127535
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