PETER PHAN: An MRI phantom for the optimisation of radiomic studies of the female pelvis

Linda Bianchini, Francesca Botta, Daniela Origgi, Stefania Rizzo, Manuel Mariani, Paul Summers, Pablo García-Polo, Marta Cremonesi, Alessandro Lascialfari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop a phantom for methodological radiomic investigation on Magnetic Resonance (MR) images of female patients affected by pelvic cancer. Methods: A pelvis-shaped container was filled with a MnCl2 solution reproducing the relaxation times (T1, T2) of muscle surrounding pelvic malignancies. Inserts simulating multi-textured lesions were embedded in the phantom. The relaxation times of muscle and tumour were measured on an MR scanner on healthy volunteers and patients; T1 and T2 of MnCl2 solutions were evaluated with a relaxometer to find the concentrations providing a match to in vivo relaxation times. Radiomic features were extracted from the phantom inserts and the patients’ lesions. Their repeatability was assessed by multiple measurements. Results: Muscle T1 and T2 were 1128 (806–1378) and 51 (40–65) ms, respectively. The phantom reproduced in vivo values within 13% (T1) and 12% (T2). T1 and T2 of tumour tissue were 1637 (1396–2121) and 94 (79–101) ms, respectively. The phantom insert best mimicking the tumour agreed within 7% (T1) and 24% (T2) with in vivo values. Out of 1034 features, 75% (95%) had interclass correlation coefficient greater than 0.9 on T1 (T2)-weighted images, reducing to 33% (25%) if the phantom was repositioned. The most repeatable features on phantom showed values in agreement with the features extracted from patients’ lesions. Conclusions: We developed an MR phantom with inserts mimicking both relaxation times and texture of pelvic tumours. As exemplified with repeatability assessment, such phantom is useful to investigate features robustness and optimise the radiomic workflow on pelvic MR images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Radiomic phantom
  • Radiomics
  • Repeatability
  • Texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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