Automated artificial intelligence-based analysis of skeletal muscle volume predicts overall survival after cystectomy for urinary bladder cancer
Journal article, 2021

Background: Radical cystectomy for urinary bladder cancer is a procedure associated with a high risk of complications, and poor overall survival (OS) due to both patient and tumour factors. Sarcopenia is one such patient factor. We have developed a fully automated artificial intelligence (AI)-based image analysis tool for segmenting skeletal muscle of the torso and calculating the muscle volume. Methods: All patients who have undergone radical cystectomy for urinary bladder cancer 2011–2019 at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and who had a pre-operative computed tomography of the abdomen within 90 days of surgery were included in the study. All patients CT studies were analysed with the automated AI-based image analysis tool. Clinical data for the patients were retrieved from the Swedish National Register for Urinary Bladder Cancer. Muscle volumes dichotomised by the median for each sex were analysed with Cox regression for OS and logistic regression for 90-day high-grade complications. The study was approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (2020-03985). Results: Out of 445 patients who underwent surgery, 299 (67%) had CT studies available for analysis. The automated AI-based tool failed to segment the muscle volume in seven (2%) patients. Cox regression analysis showed an independent significant association with OS (HR 1.62; 95% CI 1.07–2.44; p = 0.022). Logistic regression did not show any association with high-grade complications. Conclusion: The fully automated AI-based CT image analysis provides a low-cost and meaningful clinical measure that is an independent biomarker for OS following radical cystectomy.

Body composition

Urinary bladder cancer

Artificial intelligence


Image analysis (computer-assisted)


Thomas Ying

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Pablo Borrelli

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

L. Edenbrandt

University of Gothenburg

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Olof Enqvist

Eigenvision AB

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

R. Kaboteh

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

E. Tragardh

Skåne University Hospital

Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine

Johannes Ulén

Eigenvision AB

Henrik Kjölhede

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

University of Gothenburg

European Radiology Experimental

25099280 (eISSN)

Vol. 5 1 50

Subject Categories


Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Urology and Nephrology

Areas of Advance

Health Engineering



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