A Nomogram Combined Radiomics and Kinetic Curve Pattern as Imaging Biomarker for Detecting Metastatic Axillary Lymph Node in Invasive Breast Cancer

Front Oncol. 2020 Aug 28:10:1463. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01463. eCollection 2020.


Objective: To construct and validate a nomogram model integrating the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiomic features and the kinetic curve pattern for detecting metastatic axillary lymph node (ALN) in invasive breast cancer preoperatively. Materials and Methods: A total of 145 ALNs from two institutions were classified into negative and positive groups according to the pathologic or surgical results. One hundred one ALNs from institution I were taken as the training cohort, and the other 44 ALNs from institution II were taken as the external validation cohort. The kinetic curve was computed using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI software. The preprocessed images were used for radiomic feature extraction. The LASSO regression was applied to identify optimal radiomic features and construct the Radscore. A nomogram model was constructed combining the Radscore and the kinetic curve pattern. The discriminative performance was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic analysis and calibration curve. Results: Five optimal features were ultimately selected and contributed to the Radscore construction. The kinetic curve pattern was significantly different between negative and positive lymph nodes. The nomogram model showed a better performance in both training cohort [area under the curve (AUC) = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.83-0.96] and external validation cohort (AUC = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.72-0.94); the calibration curve indicated a better accuracy of the nomogram model for detecting metastatic ALN than either Radscore or kinetic curve pattern alone. Conclusion: A nomogram model integrated the Radscore and the kinetic curve pattern could serve as a biomarker for detecting metastatic ALN in patients with invasive breast cancer.

Keywords: algorithm; axillary lymph node; breast cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; radiomics.