Improved 18-FDG PET/CT diagnosis of multiple myeloma diffuse disease by radiomics analysis


Objectives: In multiple myeloma, the diagnosis of diffuse bone marrow infiltration on 18-FDG PET/CT can be challenging. We aimed to develop a PET/CT radiomics-based model that could improve the diagnosis of multiple myeloma diffuse disease on 18-FDG PET/CT.

Methods: We prospectively performed PET/CT and whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI in 30 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. MRI was the reference standard for diffuse disease assessment. Twenty patients were randomly assigned to a training set and 10 to an independent test set. Visual analysis of PET/CT was performed by two nuclear medicine physicians. Spine volumes were automatically segmented, and a total of 174 Imaging Biomarker Standardisation Initiative-compliant radiomics features were extracted from PET and CT. Selection of best features was performed with random forest features importance and correlation analysis. Machine-learning algorithms were trained on the selected features with cross-validation and evaluated on the independent test set.

Results: Out of the 30 patients, 18 had established diffuse disease on MRI. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of visual analysis were 67, 75 and 70%, respectively, with a moderate kappa coefficient of agreement of 0.6. Five radiomics features were selected. On the training set, random forest classifier reached a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 93, 86 and 91%, respectively, with an area under the curve of 0.90 (95% confidence interval, 0.89-0.91). On the independent test set, the model achieved an accuracy of 80%.

Conclusions: Radiomics analysis of 18-FDG PET/CT images with machine-learning overcame the limitations of visual analysis, providing a highly accurate and more reliable diagnosis of diffuse bone marrow infiltration in multiple myeloma patients.