Radiomics With Ensemble Machine Learning Predicts Dopamine Agonist Response in Patients With Prolactinoma

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 13;106(8):e3069-e3077. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab159.


Context: Early identification of the response of prolactinoma patients to dopamine agonists (DA) is crucial in treatment planning.

Objective: To develop a radiomics model using an ensemble machine learning classifier with conventional magnetic resonance images (MRIs) to predict the DA response in prolactinoma patients.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Patients: A total of 177 prolactinoma patients who underwent baseline MRI (109 DA responders and 68 DA nonresponders) were allocated to the training (n = 141) and test (n = 36) sets. Radiomic features (n = 107) were extracted from coronal T2-weighed MRIs. After feature selection, single models (random forest, light gradient boosting machine, extra-trees, quadratic discrimination analysis, and linear discrimination analysis) with oversampling methods were trained to predict the DA response. A soft voting ensemble classifier was used to achieve the final performance. The performance of the classifier was validated in the test set.

Results: The ensemble classifier showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.74-0.87] in the training set. In the test set, the ensemble classifier showed an AUC, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 0.81 (95% CI, 0.67-0.96), 77.8%, 78.6%, and 77.3%, respectively. The ensemble classifier achieved the highest performance among all the individual models in the test set.

Conclusions: Radiomic features may be useful biomarkers to predict the DA response in prolactinoma patients.

Keywords: machine learning; magnetic resonance imaging; pituitary neoplasms; prolactinoma; radiomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Prolactinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Prolactinoma / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists