Spatialoral variability of radiomic features and its effect on the classification of lung cancer histology

Kyle Lafata, Jing Cai, Chunhao Wang, Julian Hong, Chris R. Kelsey, Fang Fang Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this research was to study the sensitivity of Computed Tomography (CT) radiomic features to motion blurring and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), and investigate its downstream effect regarding the classification of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) histology. Forty-three radiomic features were considered and classified into one of four categories: Morphological, Intensity, Fine Texture, and Coarse Texture. First, a series of simulations were used to study feature-sensitivity to changes in spatialoral resolution. A dynamic digital phantom was used to generate images with different breathing amplitudes and SNR, from which features were extracted and characterized relative to initial simulation conditions. Stage I NSCLC patients were then retrospectively identified, from which three different acquisition-specific feature-spaces were generated based on free-breathing (FB), average-intensity-projection (AIP), and end-of-exhalation (EOE) CT images. These feature-spaces were derived to cover a wide range of spatialoral tradeoff. Normalized percent differences and concordance correlation coefficients (CCC) were used to assess the variability between the 3D and 4D acquisition techniques. Subsequently, three corresponding acquisition-specific logistic regression models were developed to classify lung tumor histology. Classification performance was compared between the different data-dependent models. Simulation results demonstrated strong linear dependences (p > 0.95) between respiratory motion and morphological features, as well as between SNR and texture features. The feature Short Run Emphasis was found to be particularly stable to both motion blurring and changes in SNR. When comparing FB-to-EOE, 37% of features demonstrated high CCC agreement (CCC > 0.8), compared to only 30% for FB-to-AIP. In classifying tumor histology, EoE images achieved an average AUC, Accuracy, Sensitivity, and Specificity of , respectively. FB images achieved respective values of , and AIP images achieved respective values of . Several radiomic features have been identified as being relatively robust to spatialoral variations based on both simulation data and patient data. In general, features that were sensitive to motion blurring were not necessarily the same features that were sensitive to changes in SNR. Our modeling results suggest that the EoE phase of a 4DCT acquisition may provide useful radiomic information, particularly for features that are highly sensitive to respiratory motion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225003
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018


  • feature variability
  • quantitative imaging
  • Radiomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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