Department of Radiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America; Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : This study explores whether objective, quantitative radiomic biomarkers derived from magnetic resonance (MR), positron emission tomography (PET), and computed tomography (CT) may be useful in reliably distinguishing malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) from benign plexiform neurofibromas (PN). METHODS : A registration and segmentation pipeline was established using a cohort of NF1 patients with histopathological diagnosis of PN or MPNST, and medical imaging of the PN including MR and PET-CT. The corrected MR datasets were registered to the corresponding PET-CT via landmark-based registration. PET standard-uptake value (SUV) thresholds were used to guide segmentation of volumes of interest: MPNST-associated PET-hot regions (SUV≥3.5) and PN-associated PET-elevated regions (2.0RESULTS : For each of the 20 NF1 subjects, a total of 320 features were extracted from the image data. Feature reduction and statistical testing identified 9 independent radiomic biomarkers from the MR data (4 intensity and 5 texture) and 4 PET (2 intensity and 2 texture) were different between the PET-hot versus PET-elevated volumes of interest. CONCLUSIONS : Our data suggests imaging features can be used to distinguish malignancy in NF1-realted tumors, which could improve MPNST risk assessment and positively impact clinical management of NF1 patients.