Intra-tumoural heterogeneity characterization through texture and colour analysis for differentiation of non-small cell lung carcinoma subtypes Academic Article uri icon


  • Radiomics has shown potential in disease diagnosis, but its feasibility for non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) subtype classification is unclear. This study aims to explore the diagnosis value of texture and colour features from positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT) images in differentiation of NSCLC subtypes: adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC). Two patient cohorts were retrospectively collected into a dataset of 341 18F-labeled 2-deoxy-2fluoro-d-glucose ([18F] FDG) PET-CT images of NSCLC tumours (125 ADC, 174 SqCC, and 42 cases with unknown subtype). Quantification of texture and colour features was performed using freehand regions of interest. The relation between extracted features and commonly used parameters such as age, gender, tumour size, and standard uptake value (SUVmax) was explored. To classify NSCLC subtypes, support vector machine algorithm was applied on these features and the classification performance was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. There was a significant difference between ADC and SqCC subtypes in texture and colour features (P  <  0.05); this showed that imaging features were significantly correlated to both SUVmax and tumour diameter (P  <  0.05). When evaluating classification performance, features combining texture and colour showed an AUC of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.78-1.00), colour features showed an AUC of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.71-0.99), and texture features showed an AUC of 0.68 (95% CI, 0.48-0.88). DeLong's test showed that AUC was higher for features combining texture and colour than that for texture features only (P  =  0.010), but not significantly different from that for colour features only (P  =  0.328). HSV colour features showed a similar performance to RGB colour features (P  =  0.473). The colour features are promising in the refinement of NSCLC subtype differentiation, and features combining texture and colour of PET-CT images could result in better classification performance.


  • Ma, Y
  • Feng, W
  • Wu, Z
  • Liu, M
  • Zhang, F
  • Liang, Z
  • Cui, C
  • Huang, J
  • Li, Xia
  • Guo, X

publication date

  • 2018