Machine Learning Prediction of Liver Stiffness Using Clinical and T2-Weighted MRI Radiomic Data

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Sep;213(3):592-601. doi: 10.2214/AJR.19.21082. Epub 2019 May 23.


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to develop a machine learning model to categorically classify MR elastography (MRE)-derived liver stiffness using clinical and nonelastographic MRI radiomic features in pediatric and young adult patients with known or suspected liver disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Clinical data (27 demographic, anthropomorphic, medical history, and laboratory features), MRI presence of liver fat and chemical shift-encoded fat fraction, and MRE mean liver stiffness measurements were retrieved from electronic medical records. MRI radiomic data (105 features) were extracted from T2-weighted fast spin-echo images. Patients were categorized by mean liver stiffness (< 3 vs ≥ 3 kPa). Support vector machine (SVM) models were used to perform two-class classification using clinical features, radiomic features, and both clinical and radiomic features. Our proposed model was internally evaluated in 225 patients (mean age, 14.1 years) and externally evaluated in an independent cohort of 84 patients (mean age, 13.7 years). Diagnostic performance was assessed using ROC AUC values. RESULTS. In our internal cross-validation model, the combination of clinical and radiomic features produced the best performance (AUC = 0.84), compared with clinical (AUC = 0.77) or radiomic (AUC = 0.70) features alone. Using both clinical and radiomic features, the SVM model was able to correctly classify patients with accuracy of 81.8%, sensitivity of 72.2%, and specificity of 87.0%. In our external validation experiment, this SVM model achieved an accuracy of 75.0%, sensitivity of 63.6%, specificity of 82.4%, and AUC of 0.80. CONCLUSION. An SVM learning model incorporating clinical and T2-weighted radiomic features has fair-to-good diagnostic performance for categorically classifying liver stiffness.

Keywords: MRI; artificial intelligence; elastography; liver; machine learning.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Diseases / pathology*
  • Machine Learning*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Young Adult