CT texture analysis can help differentiate between malignant and benign lymph nodes in the mediastinum in patients suspected for lung cancer

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BACKGROUND: In patients with non-small-cell lung carcinoma NSCLC the lymph node staging in the mediastinum is important due to impact on management and prognosis. Computed tomography texture analysis (CTTA) is a postprocessing technique that can evaluate the heterogeneity of marked regions in images.

PURPOSE: To evaluate if CTTA can differentiate between malignant and benign lymph nodes in a cohort of patients with suspected lung cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: With tissue sampling as reference standard, 46 lymph nodes from 29 patients were analyzed using CTTA. For each lymph node, CTTA was performed using a research software "TexRAD" by drawing a region of interest (ROI) on all available axial contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) slices covering the entire volume of the lymph node. Lymph node CTTA comprised image filtration-histogram analysis undertakes two stages: the first step comprised an application of a Laplacian of Gaussian filter to highlight fine to coarse textures within the ROI, followed by a quantification of textures via histogram analysis using mean gray-level intensity from the entire volume of the lymph nodes.

RESULTS: CTTA demonstrated a statistically significant difference between the malignant and the benign lymph nodes (P = 0.001), and by binary logistic regression we obtained a sensitivity of 53% and specificity of 97% in the test population. The area under the receiver operating curve was 83.4% and reproducibility was excellent.

CONCLUSION: CTTA may be helpful in differentiating between malignant and benign lymph nodes in the mediastinum in patients suspected for lung cancer, with a low intra-observer variance.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftActa Radiologica
Vol/bind57
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)669-676
Antal sider8
ISSN0284-1851
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 12 aug. 2016

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