To undertake an initial assessment of the potential utility of dynamic contrast-enhanced texture analysis (DCE-TA) of the liver in patients with colorectal cancer.
TA comprised measurement of mean gray-level intensity, entropy, and uniformity with and without selective-scale filtration using a band-pass filter to highlight different spatial frequencies reflecting fine, medium, and coarse textures. An initial phantom study assessed the sensitivity of each texture qualifier to computed tomography (CT) acquisition parameters. Texture was analyzed in DCE-CT series from 27 colorectal cancer patients having apparently normal hepatic morphology (node-negative: n = 8, node-positive: n = 19). Averaged changes in hepatic texture induced by contrast material were assessed qualitatively and quantitatively by using kinetic modeling to calculate hepatic perfusion indices following fine, medium, and coarse image filtration.
All texture qualifiers were less sensitive to changes in CT acquisition parameters than measurement of CT attenuation. Temporal changes in hepatic texture were qualitatively different from changes in enhancement. Statistically significant differences between node-negative and node-positive patients were observed for at least 1 time period for measurements of hepatic enhancement and for all texture parameters. The differences were most statistically significant and occurred over the greatest number of time periods for fine texture quantified as mean gray-level intensity (5 time periods, minimum P value: 0.006) followed by fine texture quantified as entropy (4 time points, minimum P value: 0.006). There was no difference in hepatic perfusion indices for the 2 groups.
DCE-TA is a potentially useful adjunct to DCE-CT warranting further investigation.
From the *Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, England, United Kingdom; and †Department of Engineering and Design, University of Sussex, Brighton, England, United Kingdom.
Received July 16, 2009; accepted for publication (after revision) August 13, 2010.
Reprints: Balaji Ganeshan, BEng, PhD, Department of Engineering and Design, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QT, England, United Kingdom. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.