BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Despite availability of advanced imaging, distinguishing radiation necrosis from recurrent brain tumors noninvasively is a big challenge in neuro-oncology. Our aim was to determine the feasibility of radiomic (computer-extracted texture) features in differentiating radiation necrosis from recurrent brain tumors on routine MR imaging (gadolinium T1WI, T2WI, FLAIR). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of brain tumor MR imaging performed 9 months (or later) post-radiochemotherapy was performed from 2 institutions. Fifty-eight patient studies were analyzed, consisting of a training (n = 43) cohort from one institution and an independent test (n = 15) cohort from another, with surgical histologic findings confirmed by an experienced neuropathologist at the respective institutions. Brain lesions on MR imaging were manually annotated by an expert neuroradiologist. A set of radiomic features was extracted for every lesion on each MR imaging sequence: gadolinium T1WI, T2WI, and FLAIR. Feature selection was used to identify the top 5 most discriminating features for every MR imaging sequence on the training cohort. These features were then evaluated on the test cohort by a support vector machine classifier. The classification performance was compared against diagnostic reads by 2 expert neuroradiologists who had access to the same MR imaging sequences (gadolinium T1WI, T2WI, and FLAIR) as the classifier. RESULTS: On the training cohort, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was highest for FLAIR with 0.79; 95% CI, 0.77- 0.81 for primary (n = 22); and 0.79, 95% CI, 0.75- 0.83 for metastatic subgroups (n =21). Of the 15 studies in the holdout cohort, the support vector machine classifier identified 12 of 15 studies correctly, while neuroradiologist 1 diagnosed 7 of 15 and neuroradiologist 2 diagnosed 8 of 15 studies correctly, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary results suggest that radiomic features may provide complementary diagnostic information on routine MR imaging sequences that may improve the distinction of radiation necrosis from recurrence for both primary and metastatic brain tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology