To identify the impact of reconstruction algorithms on CT radiomic features of pulmonary tumors and to reveal and compare the intra- and inter-reader and inter-reconstruction algorithm variability of each feature.
Forty-two patients (M:F = 19:23; mean age, 60.43±10.56 years) with 42 pulmonary tumors (22.56±8.51mm) underwent contrast-enhanced CT scans, which were reconstructed with filtered back projection and commercial iterative reconstruction algorithm (level 3 and 5). Two readers independently segmented the whole tumor volume. Fifteen radiomic features were extracted and compared among reconstruction algorithms. Intra- and inter-reader variability and inter-reconstruction algorithm variability were calculated using coefficients of variation (CVs) and then compared.
Among the 15 features, 5 first-order tumor intensity features and 4 gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM)-based features showed significant differences (p<0.05) among reconstruction algorithms. As for the variability, effective diameter, sphericity, entropy, and GLCM entropy were the most robust features (CV≤5%). Inter-reader variability was larger than intra-reader or inter-reconstruction algorithm variability in 9 features. However, for entropy, homogeneity, and 4 GLCM-based features, inter-reconstruction algorithm variability was significantly greater than inter-reader variability (p<0.013).
Most of the radiomic features were significantly affected by the reconstruction algorithms. Inter-reconstruction algorithm variability was greater than inter-reader variability for entropy, homogeneity, and GLCM-based features.
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