Radiomics based automated quality assessment for T2W prostate MR images

L. Thijssen, M. de Rooij, J. Barentsz and H. Huisman

European Journal of Radiology 2023.


Purpose: The guidelines for prostate cancer recommend the use of MRI in the prostate cancer pathway. Due to the variability in prostate MR image quality, the reliability of this technique in the detection of prostate cancer is highly variable in clinical practice. This leads to the need for an objective and automated assessment of image quality to ensure an adequate acquisition and hereby to improve the reliability of MRI. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of Blind/referenceless image spatial quality evaluator (Brisque) and radiomics in automated image quality assessment of T2-weighted (T2W) images. Method: Anonymized axial T2W images from 140 patients were scored for quality using a five-point Likert scale (low, suboptimal, acceptable, good, very good quality) in consensus by two readers. Images were dichotomized into clinically acceptable (very good, good and acceptable quality images) and clinically unacceptable (low and suboptimal quality images) in order to train and verify the model. Radiomics and Brisque features were extracted from a central cuboid volume including the prostate. A reduced feature set was used to fit a Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) model to predict image quality. Two hundred times repeated 5-fold cross-validation was used to train the model and test performance by assessing the classification accuracy, the discrimination accuracy as receiver operating curve - area under curve (ROC-AUC), and by generating confusion matrices. Results: Thirty-four images were classified as clinically unacceptable and 106 were classified as clinically acceptable. The accuracy of the independent test set (mean ± standard deviation) was 85.4 ± 5.5%. The ROC-AUC was 0.856 (0.851 – 0.861) (mean; 95% confidence interval). Conclusions:Radiomics AI can automatically detect a significant portion of T2W images of suboptimal image quality. This can help improve image quality at the time of acquisition, thus reducing repeat scans and improving diagnostic accuracy.