Co-Authors: Christoph Germann, André Meyer, Matthias Staib, Reto Sutter, Benjamin Fritz.

I am thrilled to share that my first peer-reviewed non-software engineering publication was just published, in European Radiology! It is one of the outcomes of my work as Head of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Management at ScanDiags, a Swiss AI-company that specializes on building AI-software that supports radiologists with the detection, measuring and diagnosis of musculoskeletal MRI.

You can access the open access publication directly on Springer.

In the following, I provide the abstract/summary:


The aim is to validate the performance of a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) for vertebral body measurements and insufficiency fracture detection on lumbar spine MRI.


This retrospective analysis included 1000 vertebral bodies in 200 patients (age 75.2 ± 9.8 years) who underwent lumbar spine MRI at multiple institutions. 160/200 patients had ≥ one vertebral body insufficiency fracture, 40/200 had no fracture. The performance of the DCNN and that of two fellowship-trained musculoskeletal radiologists in vertebral body measurements (anterior/posterior height, extent of endplate concavity, vertebral angle) and evaluation for insufficiency fractures were compared. Statistics included (a) interobserver reliability metrics using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), kappa statistics, and Bland-Altman analysis, and (b) diagnostic performance metrics (sensitivity, specificity, accuracy). A statistically significant difference was accepted if the 95% confidence intervals did not overlap.


The inter-reader agreement between radiologists and the DCNN was excellent for vertebral body measurements, with ICC values of > 0.94 for anterior and posterior vertebral height and vertebral angle, and good to excellent for superior and inferior endplate concavity with ICC values of 0.79–0.85. The performance of the DCNN in fracture detection yielded a sensitivity of 0.941 (0.903–0.968), specificity of 0.969 (0.954–0.980), and accuracy of 0.962 (0.948–0.973). The diagnostic performance of the DCNN was independent of the radiological institution (accuracy 0.964 vs. 0.960), type of MRI scanner (accuracy 0.957 vs. 0.964), and magnetic field strength (accuracy 0.966 vs. 0.957).


A DCNN can achieve high diagnostic performance in vertebral body measurements and insufficiency fracture detection on heterogeneous lumbar spine MRI.