Volume indices and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) are routinely used to assess cardiac function. Ventricular strain values may provide additional diagnostic information, but their reproducibility is unclear. This study therefore compares the repeatability and reproducibility of volumes, volume fraction, and regional ventricular strains, derived from cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, across three software packages and between readers.
Seven readers analysed 16 short-axis CMR stacks of a porcine heart. Endocardial contours were manually drawn using OsiriX and Simpleware ScanIP and repeated in both softwares. The images were also contoured automatically in Circle CVI42. Endocardial global, apical, mid-ventricular, and basal circumferential strains, as well as end-diastolic and end-systolic volume and LVEF were compared.
Bland-Altman analysis found systematic biases in contour length between software packages. Compared to OsiriX, contour lengths were shorter in both ScanIP (-1.9 cm) and CVI42 (-0.6 cm), causing statistically significant differences in end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, and apical circumferential strain (all p<0.006). No differences were found for mid-ventricular, basal or global strains, or left ventricular ejection fraction (all p<0.007). All CVI42 results lay within the ranges of the OsiriX results. Intra-software differences were found to be lower than inter-software differences.
OsiriX and CVI42 gave consistent results for all strain and volume metrics, with no statistical differences found between OsiriX and ScanIP for mid-ventricular, global or basal strains, or left ventricular ejection fraction. However, volumes were influenced by the choice of contouring software, suggesting care should be taken when comparing volumes across different software.