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12 July 2019 Systematic analysis of bias and variability of texture measurements in computed tomography
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Texture is a key radiomics measurement for quantification of disease and disease progression. The sensitivity of the measurements to image acquisition, however, is uncertain. We assessed bias and variability of computed tomography (CT) texture feature measurements across many clinical image acquisition settings and reconstruction algorithms. Diverse, anatomically informed textures (texture A, B, and C) were simulated across 1188 clinically relevant CT imaging conditions representing four in-plane pixel sizes (0.4, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 mm), three slice thicknesses (0.625, 1.25, and 2.5 mm), three dose levels (CTDIvol 1.90, 3.75, and 7.50 mGy), and 33 reconstruction kernels. Imaging conditions corresponded to noise and resolution properties representative of five commercial scanners (GE LightSpeed VCT, GE Discovery 750 HD, GE Revolution, Siemens Definition Flash, and Siemens Force) in filtered backprojection and iterative reconstruction. About 21 texture features were calculated and compared between the ground-truth phantom (i.e., preimaging) and its corresponding images. Each feature was measured with four unique volumes of interest (VOIs) sizes (244, 579, 1000, and 1953  mm3. To characterize the bias, the percentage relative difference [PRD(%)] in each feature was calculated between the imaged scenario and the ground truth for all VOI sizes. Feature variability was assessed in terms of (1) σPRD  (    %    )   indicating the variability between the ground truth and simulated image scenario based on the PRD(%), (2) COVf indicating the simulation-based variability, and (3) COVT indicating the natural variability present in the ground-truth phantom. The PRD ranged widely from −97  %   to 1220%, with an underlying variability (σ) of up to 241%. Features such as gray-level nonuniformity, texture entropy, sum average, and homogeneity exhibited low susceptibility to reconstruction kernel effects (PRD  <  3  %  ) with relatively small σPRD  (    %    )   (≤5  %  ) across imaging conditions. The dynamic range of results indicates that image acquisition and reconstruction conditions of in-plane pixel sizes, slice thicknesses, dose levels, and reconstruction kernels can lead to significant bias and variability in feature measurements.
© 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4302/2019/$28.00 © 2019 SPIE
Marthony Robins, Justin Solomon, Jocelyn Hoye, Ehsan Abadi, Daniele Marin, and Ehsan Samei "Systematic analysis of bias and variability of texture measurements in computed tomography," Journal of Medical Imaging 6(3), 033503 (12 July 2019).
Received: 20 October 2018; Accepted: 18 June 2019; Published: 12 July 2019

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