Breast MRI radiomics: comparison of computer- and human-extracted imaging phenotypes

on behalf of the TCGA group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: In this study, we sought to investigate if computer-extracted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phenotypes of breast cancer could replicate human-extracted size and Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) imaging phenotypes using MRI data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project of the National Cancer Institute. Methods: Our retrospective interpretation study involved analysis of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant breast MRI data from The Cancer Imaging Archive, an open-source database from the TCGA project. This study was exempt from institutional review board approval at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the need for informed consent was waived. Ninety-one pre-operative breast MRIs with verified invasive breast cancers were analysed. Three fellowship-trained breast radiologists evaluated the index cancer in each case according to size and the BI-RADS lexicon for shape, margin, and enhancement (human-extracted image phenotypes [HEIP]). Human inter-observer agreement was analysed by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for size and Krippendorff’s α for other measurements. Quantitative MRI radiomics of computerised three-dimensional segmentations of each cancer generated computer-extracted image phenotypes (CEIP). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were used to compare HEIP and CEIP. Results: Inter-observer agreement for HEIP varied, with the highest agreement seen for size (ICC 0.679) and shape (ICC 0.527). The computer-extracted maximum linear size replicated the human measurement with p < 10−12. CEIP of shape, specifically sphericity and irregularity, replicated HEIP with both p values < 0.001. CEIP did not demonstrate agreement with HEIP of tumour margin or internal enhancement. Conclusions: Quantitative radiomics of breast cancer may replicate human-extracted tumour size and BI-RADS imaging phenotypes, thus enabling precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalEuropean Radiology Experimental
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Inter-observer variability
  • Machine learning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radiomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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