Fully Automated MR Based Virtual Biopsy of Cerebral Gliomas

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Dec 8;13(24):6186. doi: 10.3390/cancers13246186.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of a radiomics analysis based on a fully automated segmentation and a simplified and robust MR imaging protocol to provide a comprehensive analysis of the genetic profile and grading of cerebral gliomas for everyday clinical use.

Methods: MRI examinations of 217 therapy-naïve patients with cerebral gliomas, each comprising a non-contrast T1-weighted, FLAIR and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted sequence, were included in the study. In addition, clinical and laboratory parameters were incorporated into the analysis. The BraTS 2019 pretrained DeepMedic network was used for automated segmentation. The segmentations generated by DeepMedic were evaluated with 200 manual segmentations with a DICE score of 0.8082 ± 0.1321. Subsequently, the radiomics signatures were utilized to predict the genetic profile of ATRX, IDH1/2, MGMT and 1p19q co-deletion, as well as differentiating low-grade glioma from high-grade glioma.

Results: The network provided an AUC (validation/test) for the differentiation between low-grade gliomas vs. high-grade gliomas of 0.981 ± 0.015/0.885 ± 0.02. The best results were achieved for the prediction of the ATRX expression loss with AUCs of 0.979 ± 0.028/0.923 ± 0.045, followed by 0.929 ± 0.042/0.861 ± 0.023 for the prediction of IDH1/2. The prediction of 1p19q and MGMT achieved moderate results, with AUCs of 0.999 ± 0.005/0.711 ± 0.128 for 1p19q and 0.854 ± 0.046/0.742 ± 0.050 for MGMT.

Conclusion: This fully automated approach utilizing simplified MR protocols to predict the genetic profile and grading of cerebral gliomas provides an easy and efficient method for non-invasive tumor decoding.

Keywords: cerebral glioma; multiparametric MRI; radiomics; radiomics-based phenotyping and tumordecoding.