Radiomics of CT Features May Be Nonreproducible and Redundant: Influence of CT Acquisition Parameters

Radiology. 2018 Aug;288(2):407-415. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018172361. Epub 2018 Apr 24.


Purpose To identify the reproducible and nonredundant radiomics features (RFs) for computed tomography (CT). Materials and Methods Two phantoms were used to test RF reproducibility by using test-retest analysis, by changing the CT acquisition parameters (hereafter, intra-CT analysis), and by comparing five different scanners with the same CT parameters (hereafter, inter-CT analysis). Reproducible RFs were selected by using the concordance correlation coefficient (as a measure of the agreement between variables) and the coefficient of variation (defined as the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean). Redundant features were grouped by using hierarchical cluster analysis. Results A total of 177 RFs including intensity, shape, and texture features were evaluated. The test-retest analysis showed that 91% (161 of 177) of the RFs were reproducible according to concordance correlation coefficient. Reproducibility of intra-CT RFs, based on coefficient of variation, ranged from 89.3% (151 of 177) to 43.1% (76 of 177) where the pitch factor and the reconstruction kernel were modified, respectively. Reproducibility of inter-CT RFs, based on coefficient of variation, also showed large material differences, from 85.3% (151 of 177; wood) to only 15.8% (28 of 177; polyurethane). Ten clusters were identified after the hierarchical cluster analysis and one RF per cluster was chosen as representative. Conclusion Many RFs were redundant and nonreproducible. If all the CT parameters are fixed except field of view, tube voltage, and milliamperage, then the information provided by the analyzed RFs can be summarized in only 10 RFs (each representing a cluster) because of redundancy.

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*