Comparison of visual metric and planimetry methods for brain tumor measurement in dogs

Chris B. Thomson, Kevin H. Haynes, G. Elizabeth Pluhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To compare the orthogonal diameter (visual metric) method against a manual perimeter tracing (planimetry) method to measure volume of brain tumors in dogs by use of MRI scans. SAMPLE 22 sets of MRI brain scans pertaining to 22 client-owned dogs with histologically confirmed glioma. PROCEDURES MRI scans were reviewed by 2 operators, and scans revealing tumors with a degree of gadolinium enhancement that allowed discrimination between tumor tissue and healthy parenchyma were used. Each operator calculated tumor volume for each set of scans twice by use of visual metric and planimetry methods. Inter- and intraoperator variability were assessed by calculation of an agreement index (AI). RESULTS Mean ± SD intraoperator AIs were 0.79 ± 0.24 for the visual metric method and 0.89 ± 0.17 for the planimetry method. Intraoperator variability for both operators was significantly less when the planimetry method was used than when the visual metric method was used. No significant differences were identified in mean interoperator AI between visual metric (0.68 ± 0.28) and planimetry (0.67 ± 0.31) methods. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The lower intraoperator variability achieved with the planimetry versus visual metric method should result in more precise volume assessments when the same operator performs multiple volume measurements of brain tumors in dogs. Equivocal results for interoperator variability may have been due to method variance or inadequate preliminary training. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the suitability of planimetry for assessing response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

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© 2016, American Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


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