Influence of image preprocessing on the segmentation-based reproducibility of radiomic features: in vivo experiments on discretization and resampling parameters

Diagn Interv Radiol. 2024 May 13;30(3):152-162. doi: 10.4274/dir.2023.232543. Epub 2023 Dec 11.


Purpose: To systematically investigate the impact of image preprocessing parameters on the segmentation-based reproducibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiomic features.

Methods: The MRI scans of 50 patients were included from the multi-institutional Brain Tumor Segmentation 2021 public glioma dataset. Whole tumor volumes were manually segmented by two independent readers, with the participation of eight readers. Radiomic features were extracted from two sequences: T2-weighted (T2) and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted (T1ce). Two methods were considered for discretization: bin count (i.e., relative discretization) and bin width (i.e., absolute discretization). Ten discretization (five for each method) and five resampling parameters were varied while other parameters were fixed. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used for reliability analysis based on two commonly used cut-off values (0.75 and 0.90).

Results: Image preprocessing parameters had a significant impact on the segmentation-based reproducibility of radiomic features. The bin width method yielded more reproducible features than the bin count method. In discretization experiments using the bin width on both sequences, according to the ICC cut-off values of 0.75 and 0.90, the rate of reproducible features ranged from 70% to 84% and from 35% to 57%, respectively, with an increasing percentage trend as parameter values decreased (from 84 to 5 for T2; 100 to 6 for T1ce). In the resampling experiments, these ranged from 53% to 74% and from 10% to 20%, respectively, with an increasing percentage trend from lower to higher parameter values (physical voxel size; from 1 x 1 x 1 to 2 x 2 x 2 mm3).

Conclusion: The segmentation-based reproducibility of radiomic features appears to be substantially influenced by discretization and resampling parameters. Our findings indicate that the bin width method should be used for discretization and lower bin width and higher resampling values should be used to allow more reproducible features.

Keywords: Reproducibility; biomarker; preprocessing; radiomics; texture analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Glioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiomics
  • Reproducibility of Results