Development of a Radiomics-Based Model to Predict Graft Fibrosis in Liver Transplant Recipients: A Pilot Study

Transpl Int. 2023 Sep 1:36:11149. doi: 10.3389/ti.2023.11149. eCollection 2023.


Liver Transplantation is complicated by recurrent fibrosis in 40% of recipients. We evaluated the ability of clinical and radiomic features to flag patients at risk of developing future graft fibrosis. CT scans of 254 patients at 3-6 months post-liver transplant were retrospectively analyzed. Volumetric radiomic features were extracted from the portal phase using an Artificial Intelligence-based tool (PyRadiomics). The primary endpoint was clinically significant (≥F2) graft fibrosis. A 10-fold cross-validated LASSO model using clinical and radiomic features was developed. In total, 75 patients (29.5%) developed ≥F2 fibrosis by a median of 19 (4.3-121.8) months. The maximum liver attenuation at the venous phase (a radiomic feature reflecting venous perfusion), primary etiology, donor/recipient age, recurrence of disease, brain-dead donor, tacrolimus use at 3 months, and APRI score at 3 months were predictive of ≥F2 fibrosis. The combination of radiomics and the clinical features increased the AUC to 0.811 from 0.793 for the clinical-only model (p = 0.008) and from 0.664 for the radiomics-only model (p < 0.001) to predict future ≥F2 fibrosis. This pilot study exploring the role of radiomics demonstrates that the addition of radiomic features in a clinical model increased the model's performance. Further studies are required to investigate the generalizability of this experimental tool.

Keywords: CT scan; artificial intelligence; imaging biomarkers; machine learning; prognostic model.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retrospective Studies