Background: The Greylevel Cooccurrence Matrix method (COM) is one of the most promising methods used in Texture Analysis of Magnetic Resonance Images. This method provides statistical information about the spatial distribution of greylevels in the image which can be used for classification of different tissue regions. Optimizing the size and complexity of the COM has the potential to enhance the reliability of Texture Analysis results. In this paper we investigate the effect of matrix size and calculation approach on the ability of COM to discriminate between peritumoral white matter and other white matter regions.
Method: MR images were obtained from patients with histologically confirmed brain glioblastoma using MRI at 3-T giving isotropic resolution of 1 mm3. Three Regions of Interest (ROI) were outlined in visually normal white matter on three image slices based on relative distance from the tumor: one peritumoral white matter region and two distant white matter regions on both hemispheres. Volumes of Interest (VOI) were composed from the three slices. Two different calculation approaches for COM were used: i) Classical approach (CCOM) on each individual ROI, and ii) Three Dimensional approach (3DCOM) calculated on VOIs. For, each calculation approach five dynamic ranges (number of greylevels N) were investigated (N = 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256).
Results: Classification showed that peritumoral white matter always represents a homogenous class, separate from other white matter, regardless of the value of N or the calculation approach used. The best test measures (sensitivity and specificity) for average CCOM were obtained for N = 128. These measures were also optimal for 3DCOM with N = 128, which additionally showed a balanced tradeoff between the measures.
Conclusion: We conclude that the dynamic range used for COM calculation significantly influences the classification results for identical samples. In order to obtain more reliable classification results with COM, the dynamic range must be optimized to avoid too small or sparse matrices. Larger dynamic ranges for COM calculations do not necessarily give better texture results; they might increase the computation costs and limit the method performance.