Eur Radiol. 2020 Oct 30. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07423-2. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether CT slice thickness influences the performance of radiomics prognostic models in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
METHODS: CT images including 1-, 3-, and 5-mm slice thicknesses acquired from 311 patients who underwent surgical resection for NSCLC between May 2014 and December 2015 were evaluated. Tumor segmentation was performed on CT of each slice thickness and total 94 radiomics features (shape, tumor intensity, and texture) were extracted. The study population was temporally split into development (n = 185) and validation sets (n = 126) for prediction of disease-free survival (DFS). Three radiomics models were built from three different slice thickness datasets (Rad-1, Rad-3, and Rad-5), respectively. Model performance was assessed and compared in three slice thickness datasets and mixed slice thickness dataset using C-indices.
RESULTS: In corresponding slice thickness datasets, the C-indices of Rad-1, Rad-3, and Rad-5 for prediction of DFS were 0.68, 0.70, and 0.68 in the development set, and 0.73, 0.73, and 0.76 in the validation set (p = 0.40-0.89 and 0.27-0.90, respectively). Performance of the models was not significantly changed when they were applied to different slice thicknesses data in the validation set (C-index, 0.73-0.76, 0.72-0.73, 0.75-0.76; p = 0.07-0.92). In the mixed slice thickness dataset, performances of the models were similar to or slightly lower than their performances in the corresponding slice thickness datasets (C-index, 0.72-0.75 vs. 0.73-0.76) in the validation set.
CONCLUSIONS: The performance of radiomics models for predicting DFS in NSCLC patients was not significantly affected by CT slice thickness.
KEY POINTS: • Three radiomics models based on 1-, 3-, and 5-mm CT datasets showed C-indices for predicting disease-free survival of 0.68-0.70 in the development set and 0.73-0.76 in the validation set, without statistical differences (p = 0.27-0.90). • Application of the radiomics models to different slice thickness datasets showed no significant differences in performance between the values in the prediction of disease-free survival (p = 0.07-0.99). • Three radiomics models based on 1-, 3-, and 5-mm CT datasets performed well in mixed slice thickness datasets, showing similar or slightly lower performances.