We explore noninvasive biomarkers of microvascular invasion (mVI) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using quantitative and semantic image features extracted from contrast-enhanced, triphasic computed tomography (CT). Under institutional review board approval, we selected 28 treatment-naive HCC patients who underwent surgical resection. Four radiologists independently selected and delineated tumor margins on three axial CT images and extracted computational features capturing tumor shape, image intensities, and texture. We also computed two types of "delta features," defined as the absolute difference and the ratio computed from all pairs of imaging phases for each feature. 717 arterial, portal-venous, delayed single-phase, and delta-phase features were robust against interreader variability ([Formula: see text]). An enhanced cross-validation analysis showed that combining robust single-phase and delta features in the arterial and venous phases identified mVI (AUC [Formula: see text]). Compared to a previously reported semantic feature signature (AUC 0.47 to 0.58), these features in our cohort showed only slight to moderate agreement (Cohen's kappa range: 0.03 to 0.59). Though preliminary, quantitative analysis of image features in arterial and venous phases may be potential surrogate biomarkers for mVI in HCC. Further study in a larger cohort is warranted.
View details for PubMedID 28840174