A guide for using NIH Image J for single slice cross-sectional area and composition analysis of the thigh from computed tomography

Douglas E. Long, Alejandro G. Villasante Tezanos, James N. Wise, Philip A. Kern, Marcas M. Bamman, Charlotte A. Peterson, Richard A. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reports using computed tomography (CT) to estimate thigh skeletal muscle cross-sectional area and mean muscle attenuation are often difficult to evaluate due to inconsistent methods of quantification and/or poorly described analysis methods. This CT tutorial provides step-by-step instructions in using free, NIH Image J software to quantify both muscle size and composition in the mid-thigh, which was validated against a robust commercially available software, SliceOmatic. CT scans of the mid-thigh were analyzed from 101 healthy individuals aged 65 and older. Mean cross-sectional area and mean attenuation values are presented across seven defined Hounsfield unit (HU) ranges along with the percent contribution of each region to the total mid-thigh area. Inter-software correlation coefficients ranged from R2 = 0.92–0.99 for all specific area comparisons measured using the Image J method compared to SliceOmatic. We recommend reporting individual HU ranges for all areas measured. Although HU range 0–100 includes the majority of skeletal muscle area, HU range -29 to 150 appears to be the most inclusive for quantifying total thigh muscle. Reporting all HU ranges is necessary to determine the relative contribution of each, as they may be differentially affected by age, obesity, disease, and exercise. This standardized operating procedure will facilitate consistency among investigators reporting computed tomography characteristics of the thigh on single slice images.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0211629
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Kentucky Gill Imaging Center and University of Kentucky CTSA (UL1TR001998). The original research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging AG046920, to Charlotte Peterson, PhD, Philip Kern, M.D., and Marcas Bamman, PhD. The SliceOmatic software was purchased by VA Rehabilitation Merit Review Award # RX0012030 (RAD). The contents do not represent the views of the VA or US Government. This work was supported by the University of Kentucky Gill Imaging Center and University of Kentucky CTSA (UL1TR001998). The original research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging AG046920, to Charlotte Peterson, PhD, Philip Kern, M. D., and Marcas Bamman, PhD. The SliceOmatic software was purchased by VA Rehabilitation Merit Review Award # RX0012030 (RAD). The contents do not represent the views of the VA or US Government.

Publisher Copyright:
This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A guide for using NIH Image J for single slice cross-sectional area and composition analysis of the thigh from computed tomography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this