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In Cancer management and research

Objective : To investigate the predictive performance of different machine learning models for the discrimination of low and high nuclear grade clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) by using multiphase computed tomography (CT)-based radiomic features.

Materials and Methods : A total of 137 consecutive patients with pathologically proven ccRCC (including 96 low-grade [grade 1 or 2] and 41 high-grade [grade 3 or 4] ccRCC) from January 2011 to January 2019 were enrolled in this retrospective study. Target region of interest (ROI) delineation followed by texture extraction was performed on a representative slice with the largest section of the tumor on the four-phase (unenhanced phase [UP], corticomedullary phase [CMP], nephrographic phase [NP] and excretory phase [EP]) CT images. Fifteen concatenations of the four-phase features were fed into 176 classification models (built with 8 classifiers and 22 feature selection methods), the classification performances of the 2640 resultant discriminative models were compared, and the top-ranked features were analyzed.

Results : Image features extracted from the unenhanced phase (UP) CT images demonstrated a dominant classification performance over features from the other three phases. The discriminative model "Bagging + CMIM" achieved the highest classification AUC of 0.75. The top-ranked features from the UP included one shape-based feature and five first-order statistical features.

Conclusion : Image features extracted from the UP are more effective than other CT phases in differentiating low and high nuclear grade ccRCC based on machine learning-based classification modeling.

Lai Shengsheng, Sun Lei, Wu Jialiang, Wei Ruili, Luo Shiwei, Ding Wenshuang, Liu Xilong, Yang Ruimeng, Zhen Xin


Fuhrman nuclear grade, classification, clear cell renal cell carcinoma, computed tomography, machine learning