Automated estimation of tumor probability in prostate magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging: pattern recognition vs quantification

Magn Reson Med. 2007 Jan;57(1):150-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.21112.


Despite its diagnostic value and technological availability, (1)H NMR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) has not found its way into clinical routine yet. Prerequisite for the clinical application is an automated and reliable method for the diagnostic evaluation of MRS images. In the present paper, different approaches to the estimation of tumor probability from MRSI in the prostate are assessed. Two approaches to feature extraction are compared: quantification (VARPRO, AMARES, QUEST) and subspace methods on spectral patterns (principal components, independent components, nonnegative matrix factorization, partial least squares). Linear as well as nonlinear classifiers (support vector machines, Gaussian processes, random forests) are applied and discussed. Quantification-based approaches are much more sensitive to the choice and parameterization of the quantification algorithm than to the choice of the classifier. Furthermore, linear methods based on magnitude spectra easily achieve equal performance and also allow for biochemical interpretation in combination with subspace methods. Nonlinear methods operating directly on magnitude spectra achieve the best results but are less transparent than the linear methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*