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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2014 Aug;33(8):1648-56. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2014.2321024. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

Classification of dynamic contrast enhanced MR images of cervical cancers using texture analysis and support vector machines.


Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) provides insight into the vascular properties of tissue. Pharmacokinetic models may be fitted to DCE-MRI uptake patterns, enabling biologically relevant interpretations. The aim of our study was to determine whether treatment outcome for 81 patients with locally advanced cervical cancer could be predicted from parameters of the Brix pharmacokinetic model derived from pre-chemoradiotherapy DCE-MRI. First-order statistical features of the Brix parameters were used. In addition, texture analysis of Brix parameter maps was done by constructing gray level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM) from the maps. Clinical factors and first- and second-order features were used as explanatory variables for support vector machine (SVM) classification, with treatment outcome as response. Classification models were validated using leave-one-out cross-model validation. A random value permutation test was used to evaluate model significance. Features derived from first-order statistics could not discriminate between cured and relapsed patients (specificity 0%-20%, p-values close to unity). However, second-order GLCM features could significantly predict treatment outcome with accuracies (~70%) similar to the clinical factors tumor volume and stage (69%). The results indicate that the spatial relations within the tumor, quantified by texture features, were more suitable for outcome prediction than first-order features.

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