Fifty-sixth annual meeting of the American association of physicists in medicine
SU-E-QI-17: Dependence of 3D/4D PET Quantitative Image Features On Noise
Quantitative imaging is a fast evolving discipline where a large number of features are extracted from images; i.e., radiomics. Some features have been shown to have diagnostic, prognostic and predictive value. However, they are sensitive to acquisition and processing factors; e.g., noise. In this study noise was added to positron emission tomography (PET) images to determine how features were affected by noise.
Three levels of Gaussian noise were added to 8 lung cancer patients PET images acquired in 3D mode (static) and using respiratory tracking (4D); for the latter images from one of 10 phases were used. A total of 62 features: 14 shape, 19 intensity (1stO), 18 GLCM textures (2ndO; from grey level co-occurrence matrices) and 11 RLM textures (2ndO; from run-length matrices) features were extracted from segmented tumors. Dimensions of GLCM were 256×256, calculated using 3D images with a step size of 1 voxel in 13 directions. Grey levels were binned into 256 levels for RLM and features were calculated in all 13 directions.
Feature variation generally increased with noise. Shape features were the most stable while RLM were the most unstable. Intensity and GLCM features performed well; the latter being more robust. The most stable 1stO features were compactness, maximum and minimum length, standard deviation, root-mean-squared, I30, V10-V90, and entropy. The most stable 2ndO features were entropy, sum-average, sum-entropy, difference-average, difference-variance, difference-entropy, information-correlation-2, short-run-emphasis, long-run-emphasis, and run-percentage. In general, features computed from images from one of the phases of 4D scans were more stable than from 3D scans.
This study shows the need to characterize image features carefully before they are used in research and medical applications. It also shows that the performance of features, and thereby feature selection, may be assessed in part by noise analysis.