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Glioblastoma and Anaplastic Astrocytoma: Differentiation Using MRI Texture Analysis.

Introduction: Glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma (ANA) are two of the most common primary brain tumors in adults. The differential diagnosis is important for treatment recommendations and prognosis assessment. This study aimed to assess the discriminative ability of texture analysis using machine learning to distinguish glioblastoma from ANA. Methods: A total of 123 patients with glioblastoma ( n = 76) or ANA ( n = 47) were enrolled in this study. Texture features were extracted from contrast-enhanced Magnetic Resonance (MR) images using LifeX package. Three independent feature-selection methods were performed to select the most discriminating parameters:Distance Correlation, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), and gradient correlation decision tree (GBDT). These selected features (datasets) were then randomly split into the training and the validation group at the ratio of 4:1 and were fed into linear discriminant analysis (LDA), respectively, and independently. The standard sensitivity, specificity, the areas under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and accuracy were calculated for both training and validation group. Results: All three models (Distance Correlation + LDA, LASSO + LDA and GBDT + LDA) showed promising ability to discriminate glioblastoma from ANA, with AUCs ≥0.95 for both the training and the validation group using LDA algorithm and no overfitting was observed. LASSO + LDA showed the best discriminative ability in horizontal comparison among three models. Conclusion: Our study shows that MRI texture analysis using LDA algorithm had promising ability to discriminate glioblastoma from ANA. Multi-center studies with greater number of patients are warranted in future studies to confirm the preliminary result.

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