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Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 22;7(1):4041. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04151-4.

Haralick texture features from apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) MRI images depend on imaging and pre-processing parameters.

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Dept. of Radiation Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Computational Life Science Cluster (CLiC), Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Dept. of Radiation Sciences, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


In recent years, texture analysis of medical images has become increasingly popular in studies investigating diagnosis, classification and treatment response assessment of cancerous disease. Despite numerous applications in oncology and medical imaging in general, there is no consensus regarding texture analysis workflow, or reporting of parameter settings crucial for replication of results. The aim of this study was to assess how sensitive Haralick texture features of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) MR images are to changes in five parameters related to image acquisition and pre-processing: noise, resolution, how the ADC map is constructed, the choice of quantization method, and the number of gray levels in the quantized image. We found that noise, resolution, choice of quantization method and the number of gray levels in the quantized images had a significant influence on most texture features, and that the effect size varied between different features. Different methods for constructing the ADC maps did not have an impact on any texture feature. Based on our results, we recommend using images with similar resolutions and noise levels, using one quantization method, and the same number of gray levels in all quantized images, to make meaningful comparisons of texture feature results between different subjects.

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