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A multicenter study on radiomic features from T2‐weighted images of a customized MR pelvic phantom setting the basis for robust radiomic models in clinics

Bianchini, L. ; Santinha, J. ; Loução, N. ; Figueiredo, M. A. T. ; Botta, F. ; Origgi, D. ; Cremonesi, M. ; Cassano, E. ; Papanikolaou, N. ; Lascialfari, A.

Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Vol. 85, Nº 3, pp. 1713 - 1726, September, 2020.

ISSN (print): 0740-3194
ISSN (online): 1522-2594

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,70 (in 2020)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1002/mrm.28521

Purpose: To investigate the repeatability and reproducibility of radiomic features
extracted from MR images and provide a workflow to identify robust features.

Methods: T2-weighted images of a pelvic phantom were acquired on three scanners of two manufacturers and two magnetic field strengths. The repeatability and reproducibility of features were assessed by the intraclass correlation coefficient and the concordance correlation coefficient, respectively, and by the within-subject coefficient of variation, considering repeated acquisitions with and without phantom repositioning, and with different scanner and acquisition parameters. The features showing intraclass correlation coefficient or concordance correlation coefficient >0.9 were selected, and their dependence on shape information (Spearman’s ρ > 0.8) analyzed. They were classified for their ability to distinguish textures, after shuffling voxel intensities of images.

Results: From 944 two-dimensional features, 79.9% to 96.4% showed excellent
repeatability in fixed position across all scanners. A much lower range (11.2% to
85.4%) was obtained after phantom repositioning. Three-dimensional extraction did not improve repeatability performance. Excellent reproducibility between scanners was observed in 4.6% to 15.6% of the features, at fixed imaging parameters. In addition, 82.4% to 94.9% of the features showed excellent agreement when extracted from images acquired with echo times 5 ms apart, but decreased with increasing echo-time intervals, and 90.7% of the features exhibited excellent reproducibility for changes in pulse repetition time. Of nonshape features, 2.0% was identified as providing only shape information.
Conclusion: We showed that radiomic features are affected by MRI protocols and
propose a general workflow to identify repeatable, reproducible, and informative radiomic features to ensure robustness of clinical studies.