Robust radiomic feature selection in digital mammography: Understanding the effect of imaging acquisition physics using phantom and clinical data analysis

Raymond J. Acciavatti, Eric A. Cohen, Omid Haji Maghsoudi, Aimilia Gastounioti, Lauren Pantalone, Meng Kang Hsieh, Emily F. Conant, Christopher G. Scott, Stacey J. Winham, Karla Kerlikowske, Celine Vachon, Andrew D.A. Maidment, Despina Kontos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that combining calculations of radiomic features with estimates of mammographic density results in an even better assessment of breast cancer risk than density alone. However, to ensure that risk assessment calculations are consistent across different imaging acquisition settings, it is important to identify features that are not overly sensitive to changes in these settings. In this study, digital mammography (DM) images of an anthropomorphic phantom ("Rachel", Gammex 169, Madison, WI) were acquired at various technique settings. We varied kV and mAs, which control contrast and noise, respectively. DM images in women with negative screening exams were also analyzed. Radiomic features were calculated in the raw ("FOR PROCESSING") DM images; i.e., grey-level histogram, co-occurrence, run length, fractal dimension, Gabor Wavelet, local binary pattern, Laws, and co-occurrence Laws features. For each feature, the range of variation across technique settings in phantom images was calculated. This range was scaled against the range of variation in the clinical distribution (specifically, the range corresponding to the middle 90% of the distribution). In order for a radiomic feature to be considered robust, this metric of imaging acquisition variation (IAV) should be as small as possible (approaching zero). An IAV threshold of 0.25 was proposed for the purpose of this study. Out of 341 features, 284 features (83%) met the threshold IAV ≤ 0.25. In conclusion, we have developed a method to identify robust radiomic features in DM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2020
Subtitle of host publicationComputer-Aided Diagnosis
EditorsHorst K. Hahn, Maciej A. Mazurowski
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633957
StatePublished - 2020
EventMedical Imaging 2020: Computer-Aided Diagnosis - Houston, United States
Duration: Feb 16 2020Feb 19 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2020: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • anthropomorphic phantom
  • breast cancer.
  • digital mammography
  • radiomics
  • risk assessment
  • robustness


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