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Radiomics in Determining Tumor-to-Normal Brain SUV Ratio Based on 11C-Methionine PET/CT in Glioblastoma

Radiomics in Determining Tumor-to-Normal Brain SUV Ratio Based on 11C-Methionine PET/CT in Glioblastoma

Danilov G.V., Kalayeva D.B., Vikhrova N.B., Konakova T.A., Zagorodnova A.I., Popova A.A., Postnov A.A., Shugay S.V., Pronin I.N.
Key words: glioblastoma; 11C-methionine PET/CT; TNR; radiomics; machine learning; artificial intelligence.
2023, volume 15, issue 1, page 5.

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Modern methodology of PET/CT quantitative analysis in patients with glioblastomas is not strictly standardized in clinic settings and does not exclude the influence of the human factor. Methods of radiomics may facilitate unification, and improve objectivity and efficiency of the medical image analysis.

The aim of the study is to evaluate the potential of radiomics in the analysis of PET/CT glioblastoma images identifying the relationship between the radiomic features and the 11С-methionine tumor-to-normal brain uptake ratio (TNR) determined by an expert in routine.

Materials and Methods. PET/CT data (2018–2020) from 40 patients (average age was 55±12 years; 77.5% were males) with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of “glioblastoma” were included in the analysis. TNR was calculated as a ratio of the standardized uptake value of 11C-methionine measured in the tumor and intact tissue. Calculation of radiomic features for each PET was performed in the specified volumetric region of interest, capturing the tumor with the surrounding tissues. The relationship between TNR and the radiomic features was determined using the linear regression model. Predictors were included in the model following correlation analysis and LASSO regularization. The experiment with machine learning was repeated 300 times, splitting the training (70%) and test (30%) subsets randomly. The model quality metrics and predictor significance obtained in 300 tests were summarized.

Results. Of 412 PET/CT radiomic parameters significantly correlated with TNR (p<0.05), the regularization procedure left no more than 30 in each model (the median number of predictors was 9 [7; 13]). The experiment has demonstrated a non-random linear correlation (the Spearman correlation coefficient was 0.58 [0.43; 0.74]) between TNR and separate radiomic features, primarily fractal dimensions, characterizing the geometrical properties of the image.

Conclusion. Radiomics enabled an objective determination of PET/CT image texture features reflecting the biological activity of glioblastomas. Despite the existing limitations in the application, the first results provide a good perspective of these methods in neurooncology.

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