Impact of acquisition count statistics reduction and SUV discretization on PET radiomic features in pediatric 18F-FDG-PET/MRI examinations

Marco Branchini, Alessandra Zorz, Pietro Zucchetta, Andrea Bettinelli, Francesca De Monte, Diego Cecchin, Marta Paiusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: The evaluation of features robustness with respect to acquisition and post-processing parameter changes is fundamental for the reliability of radiomics studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the sensitivity of PET radiomic features to acquisition statistics reduction and standardized-uptake-volume (SUV) discretization in PET/MRI pediatric examinations.

METHODS: Twenty-seven lesions were detected from the analysis of twenty-one 18F-FDG-PET/MRI pediatric examinations. By decreasing the count-statistics of the original list-mode data (3 MBq/kg), injected activity reduction was simulated. Two SUV discretization approaches were applied: 1) resampling lesion SUV range into fixed bins numbers (FBN); 2) rounding lesion SUV into fixed bin size (FBS). One hundred and six radiomic features were extracted. Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC), Spearman correlation coefficient and coefficient-of-variation (COV) were calculated to assess feature reproducibility between low tracer activities and full tracer activity feature values.

RESULTS: More than 70% of Shape and first order features, and around 70% and 40% of textural features, when using FBS and FBN methods respectively, resulted robust till 1.2 MBk/kg. Differences in median features reproducibility (ICC) between FBS and FBN datasets were statistically significant for every activity level independently from bin number/size, with higher values for FBS. Differences in median Spearman coefficient (i.e. patient ranking according to feature values) were not statistically significant, varying the intensity resolution (i.e. bin number/size) for either FBS and FBN methods.

CONCLUSIONS: For each simulated count-statistic level, robust PET radiomic features were determined for pediatric PET/MRI examinations. A larger number of robust features were detected when using FBS methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Hodgkin Disease/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


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