Optimal classification of long echo time in vivo magnetic resonance spectra in the detection of recurrent brain tumors

NMR Biomed. 2006 Aug;19(5):599-609. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1041.


We describe the optimal high-level postprocessing of single-voxel (1)H magnetic resonance spectra and assess the benefits and limitations of automated methods as diagnostic aids in the detection of recurrent brain tumor. In a previous clinical study, 90 long-echo-time single-voxel spectra were obtained from 52 patients and classified during follow-up (30/28/32 normal/non-progressive tumor/tumor). Based on these data, a large number of evaluation strategies, including both standard resonance line quantification and algorithms from pattern recognition and machine learning, were compared in a quantitative evaluation. Results from linear and non-linear feature extraction, including ICA, PCA and wavelet transformations, and also the data from resonance line quantification were combined systematically with different classifiers such as LDA, chemometric methods (PLS, PCR), support vector machines and ensemble methods. Classification accuracy was assessed using a leave-one-out cross-validation scheme and the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operator characteristic (ROC). A regularized linear regression on spectra with binned channels reached 91% classification accuracy compared with 83% from quantification. Interpreting the loadings of these regressions, we find that lipid and lactate signals are too unreliable to be used in a simple machine rule. Choline and NAA are the main source of relevant information. Overall, we find that fully automated pattern recognition algorithms perform as well as, or slightly better than, a manually controlled and optimized resonance line quantification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Area Under Curve
  • Brain Neoplasms / classification
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods
  • Principal Component Analysis / methods
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results