Influence of segmentation margin on machine learning-based high-dimensional quantitative CT texture analysis: a reproducibility study on renal clear cell carcinomas

Kocak B., Ates E., DURMAZ E. Ş. , Ulusan M. B. , Kilickesmez O.

EUROPEAN RADIOLOGY, cilt.29, ss.4765-4775, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 29 Konu: 9
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s00330-019-6003-8
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.4765-4775


Objective To determine the possible influence of segmentation margin on each step (feature reproducibility, selection, and classification) of the machine learning (ML)-based high-dimensional quantitative computed tomography (CT) texture analysis (qCT-TA) of renal clear cell carcinomas (RcCCs). Materials and methods For this retrospective study, 47 patients with RcCC were included from a public database. Two segmentations were obtained by two radiologists for each tumour: (i) contour-focused and (ii) margin shrinkage of 2 mm. Texture features were extracted from original, filtered, and transformed CT images. Feature selection was done using a correlation-based algorithm. The ML classifier was k-nearest neighbours. Classifications were performed with and without using synthetic minority over-sampling technique. Reference standard was nuclear grade (low versus high). Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), Pearson's correlation coefficient, Wilcoxon signed-ranks test, and McNemar's test were used in the analysis. Results The segmentation with margin shrinkage of 2 mm (772 of 828; 93.2%) yielded more texture features with excellent reproducibility (ICC >= 0.9) than contour-focused segmentation (714 of 828; 86.2%), p < 0.0001. The feature selection algorithms resulted in different feature subsets for two segmentation datasets with only one common feature. All ML-based models based on contour-focused segmentation (area under the curve [AUC] range, 0.865-0.984) performed better than those with margin shrinkage of 2 mm (AUC range, 0.745-0.887), p < 0.05. Conclusions Each step of the ML-based high-dimensional qCT-TA was susceptible to a slight change of 2 mm in segmentation margin. Despite yielding fewer features with excellent reproducibility, use of the contour-focused segmentation provided better classification performance for distinguishing nuclear grade.