Quantitative Radiomics: Impact of Pulse Sequence Parameter Selection on MRI-Based Textural Features of the Brain

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Abstract

Radiomic features extracted from diverse MRI modalities have been investigated regarding their predictive and/or prognostic value in a variety of cancers. With the aid of a 3D realistic digital MRI phantom of the brain, the aim of this study was to examine the impact of pulse sequence parameter selection on MRI-based textural parameters of the brain. Methods. MR images of the employed digital phantom were realized with SimuBloch, a simulation package made for fast generation of image sequences based on the Bloch equations. Pulse sequences being investigated consisted of spin echo (SE), gradient echo (GRE), spoiled gradient echo (SP-GRE), inversion recovery spin echo (IR-SE), and inversion recovery gradient echo (IR-GRE). Twenty-nine radiomic textural features related, respectively, to gray-level intensity histograms (GLIH), cooccurrence matrices (GLCOM), zone size matrices (GLZSM), and neighborhood difference matrices (GLNDM) were evaluated for the obtained MR realizations, and differences were identified. Results. It was found that radiomic features vary considerably among images generated by the five different T1-weighted pulse sequences, and the deviations from those measured on the T1 map vary among features, from a few percent to over 100%. Radiomic features extracted from T1-weighted spin-echo images with TR varying from 360 ms to 620 ms and TE = 3.4 ms showed coefficients of variation (CV) up to 45%, while up to 70%, for T2-weighted spin-echo images with TE varying over the range 60-120 ms and TR = 6400 ms. Conclusion. Variability of radiologic textural appearance on MR realizations with respect to the choice of pulse sequence and imaging parameters is feature-dependent and can be substantial. It calls for caution in employing MRI-derived radiomic features especially when pooling imaging data from multiple institutions with intention of correlating with clinical endpoints.

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Ford, J., Dogan, N., Young, L., & Yang, F. (2018). Quantitative Radiomics: Impact of Pulse Sequence Parameter Selection on MRI-Based Textural Features of the Brain. Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1729071

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