Quantitative Metrics (quantitative + metric)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Predicting and monitoring cancer treatment response with diffusion-weighted MRI

Harriet C. Thoeny MD
Abstract An imaging biomarker that would provide for an early quantitative metric of clinical treatment response in cancer patients would provide for a paradigm shift in cancer care. Currently, nonimage based clinical outcome metrics include morphology, clinical, and laboratory parameters, however, these are obtained relatively late following treatment. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) holds promise for use as a cancer treatment response biomarker as it is sensitive to macromolecular and microstructural changes which can occur at the cellular level earlier than anatomical changes during therapy. Studies have shown that successful treatment of many tumor types can be detected using DW-MRI as an early increase in the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values. Additionally, low pretreatment ADC values of various tumors are often predictive of better outcome. These capabilities, once validated, could provide for an important opportunity to individualize therapy thereby minimizing unnecessary systemic toxicity associated with ineffective therapies with the additional advantage of improving overall patient health care and associated costs. In this report, we provide a brief technical overview of DW-MRI acquisition protocols, quantitative image analysis approaches and review studies which have implemented DW-MRI for the purpose of early prediction of cancer treatment response. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2010. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

An Evaluation of Qualitative Indexes of Physical Habitat Applied to Agricultural Streams in Ten U.S. States,

Robert M. Hughes
Hughes, Robert M., Alan T. Herlihy, and Philip R. Kaufmann, 2010. An Evaluation of Qualitative Indexes of Physical Habitat Applied to Agricultural Streams in Ten U.S. States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 46(4): 792-806. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2010.00455.x Abstract:, Assessment of stream physical habitat condition is important for evaluating stream quality globally. However, the diversity of metrics and methods for assessing physical habitat condition confounds comparisons among practitioners. We surveyed 51 previously sampled stream sites (0.0-6.3 m wide) located in regions of row-crop agriculture in Oregon, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia to evaluate the comparability of four indexes of physical habitat condition relative to each other. We also compared the indexes to previously calculated indexes of fish and macroinvertebrate condition. The physical habitat indexes included the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol Version 2 of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the qualitative habitat evaluation index of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the rapid bioassessment protocol of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and a qualitative physical habitat index based on USEPA quantitative physical habitat measurements. All four indexes were highly correlated with each other, but low-to-moderately correlated with biotic index scores for fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages. Moderately high correlations occurred between some macroinvertebrate biotic index scores and quantitative metrics. We conclude that additional research is needed to increase the predictive and diagnostic capabilities of qualitative physical habitat indexes. [source]

Measuring disease activity and functional status in patients with scleroderma and Raynaud's phenomenon

Peter A. Merkel
Objective To document disease activity and functional status in patients with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis [SSc]) and Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and to determine the sensitivity to change, reliability, ease of use, and validity of various outcome measures in these patients. Methods Patients with SSc and moderate-to-severe RP participating in a multicenter RP treatment trial completed daily diaries documenting the frequency and duration of RP attacks and recorded a daily Raynaud's Condition Score (RCS). Mean scores for the 2-week periods prior to baseline (week 0), end of trial (week 6), and posttrial followup (week 12) were calculated. At weeks 0, 6, and 12, physicians completed 3 global assessment scales and performed clinical assessments of digital ulcers and infarcts; patients completed the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2) mood and tension subscales, 5 specific SSc/RP-related visual analog scales (VAS), and 3 other VAS global assessments. We used these measures to document baseline disease activity and to assess their construct validity, sensitivity to change, and reliability in trial data. Results Two hundred eighty-one patients (248 women, 33 men; mean age 50.4 years [range 18,82 years]) from 14 centers participated. Forty-eight percent had limited cutaneous SSc; 52% had diffuse cutaneous SSc. Fifty-nine patients (21%) had digital ulcers at baseline. Patients had 3.89 2.33 (mean SD) daily RP attacks (range 0.8,14.6), with a duration of 82.1 91.6 minutes/attack. RCS for RP activity (possible range 0,10) was 4.30 1.92. HAQ scores (0,3 scale) indicated substantial disability at baseline (total disability 0.86, pain 1.19), especially among the subscales pertaining to hand function (grip, eating, dressing). AIMS2 mood and tension scores were fairly high, as were many of the VAS scores. Patients with digital ulcers had worse RCS, pain, HAQ disability (overall, grip, eating, and dressing), physician's global assessment, and tension, but no significant difference in the frequency of RP, duration of RP, patient's global assessment, or mood, compared with patients without digital ulcers. VAS scores for digital ulcers as rated by the patients were not consistent with the physician's ratings. Factor analysis of the 18 measures showed strong associations among variables in 4 distinct domains: disease activity, RP measures, digital ulcer measures, and mood/tension. Reliability of the RCS, HAQ pain and disability scales, and AIMS2 mood and tension subscales was high. The RP measures demonstrated good sensitivity to change (effect sizes 0.33,0.76). Conclusion Our findings demonstrate that the significant activity, disability, pain, and psychological impact of RP and digital ulcers in SSc can be measured by a small set of valid and reliable outcome measures. These outcome measures provide information beyond the quantitative metrics of RP attacks. We propose a core set of measures for use in clinical trials of RP in SSc patients that includes the RCS, patient and physician VAS ratings of RP activity, a digital ulcer/infarct measure, measures of disability and pain (HAQ), and measures of psychological function (AIMS2). [source]

The quality index for radar precipitation data: a tower of Babel?

Thomas Einfalt
Abstract One of the quantitative metrics of quality of radar measurements of precipitation is the quality index (QI): a field of numbers whose values depend on the quality. Such an approach is operationally used in some national meteorological services. Difficulties in using this approach can be observed due to hardware and software differences and continuous quality control algorithm improvement. An overall review of commonly used approaches and connected difficulties is made. The challenges in hydrological applications using the QI are listed, as the technique is used to generate precipitation field ensembles. Recommendations for future common considerations are suggested. Copyright 2010 Royal Meteorological Society [source]