SU-F-R-40: Robustness Test of Computed Tomography Textures of Lung Tissues to Varying Scanning Protocols Using a Realistic Phantom Environment

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Abstract

Purpose:

The reliability of computed tomography (CT) textures is an important element of radiomics analysis. This study investigates the dependency of lung CT textures on different breathing phases and changes in CT image acquisition protocols in a realistic phantom setting.

Methods:

We investigated 11 CT texture features for radiation-induced lung disease from 3 categories (first-order, grey level co-ocurrence matrix (GLCM), and Law's filter). A biomechanical swine lung phantom was scanned at two breathing phases (inhale/exhale) and two scanning protocols set for PET/CT and diagnostic CT scanning. Lung volumes acquired from the CT images were divided into 2-dimensional sub-regions with a grid spacing of 31 mm. The distribution of the evaluated texture features from these sub-regions were compared between the two scanning protocols and two breathing phases. The significance of each factor on feature values were tested at 95% significance level using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) model with interaction terms included. Robustness of a feature to a scanning factor was defined as non-significant dependence on the factor.

Results:

Three GLCM textures (variance, sum entropy, difference entropy) were robust to breathing changes. Two GLCM (variance, sum entropy) and 3 Law's filter textures (S5L5, E5L5, W5L5) were robust to scanner changes. Moreover, the two GLCM textures (variance, sum entropy) were consistent across all 4 scanning conditions. First-order features, especially Hounsfield unit intensity features, presented the most drastic variation up to 39%.

Conclusion:

Amongst the studied features, GLCM and Law's filter texture features were more robust than first-order features. However, the majority of the features were modified by either breathing phase or scanner changes, suggesting a need for calibration when retrospectively comparing scans obtained at different conditions. Further investigation is necessary to identify the sensitivity of individual image acquisition parameters.

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