The Technome - a predictive internal calibration approach for quantitative imaging biomarker research

Mühlberg, Alexander; Katzmann, Alexander; Heinemann, Volker; Kärgel, Rainer; Wels, Michael; Taubmann, Oliver; Lades, Félix; Huber, Thomas; Maurus, Stefan; Holch, Julian; Faivre, Jean-Baptiste; Sühling, Michael; Nörenberg, Dominik GND; Rémy-Jardin, Martine GND

The goal of radiomics is to convert medical images into a minable data space by extraction of quantitative imaging features for clinically relevant analyses, e.g. survival time prediction of a patient. One problem of radiomics from computed tomography is the impact of technical variation such as reconstruction kernel variation within a study. Additionally, what is often neglected is the impact of inter-patient technical variation, resulting from patient characteristics, even when scan and reconstruction parameters are constant. In our approach, measurements within 3D regions-of-interests (ROI) are calibrated by further ROIs such as air, adipose tissue, liver, etc. that are used as control regions (CR). Our goal is to derive general rules for an automated internal calibration that enhance prediction, based on the analysed features and a set of CRs. We define qualification criteria motivated by status-quo radiomics stability analysis techniques to only collect information from the CRs which is relevant given a respective task. These criteria are used in an optimisation to automatically derive a suitable internal calibration for prediction tasks based on the CRs. Our calibration enhanced the performance for centrilobular emphysema prediction in a COPD study and prediction of patients’ one-year-survival in an oncological study.

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