Machine learning in the differentiation of follicular lymphoma from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with radiomic [F-18]FDG PET/CT features

F Montes de Jesus*, Y Yin, E Mantzorou-Kyriaki, X U Kahle, R J de Haas, D Yakar, A W J M Glaudemans, W Noordzij, T C Kwee, M Nijland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background One of the challenges in the management of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) is the identification of individuals with histological transformation, most commonly into diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). [F-18]FDG-PET/CT is used for staging of patients with lymphoma, but visual interpretation cannot reliably discern FL from DLBCL. This study evaluated whether radiomic features extracted from clinical baseline [F-18]FDG PET/CT and analyzed by machine learning algorithms may help discriminate FL from DLBCL.

Materials and methods Patients were selected based on confirmed histopathological diagnosis of primary FL (n=44) or DLBCL (n=76) and available [F-18]FDG PET/CT with EARL reconstruction parameters within 6 months of diagnosis. Radiomic features were extracted from the volume of interest on co-registered [F-18]FDG PET and CT images. Analysis of selected radiomic features was performed with machine learning classifiers based on logistic regression and tree-based ensemble classifiers (AdaBoosting, Gradient Boosting, and XG Boosting). The performance of radiomic features was compared with a SUVmax-based logistic regression model.

Results From the segmented lesions, 121 FL and 227 DLBCL lesions were included for radiomic feature extraction. In total, 79 radiomic features were extracted from the SUVmap, 51 from CT, and 6 shape features. Machine learning classifier Gradient Boosting achieved the best discrimination performance using 136 radiomic features (AUC of 0.86 and accuracy of 80%). SUVmax-based logistic regression model achieved an AUC of 0.79 and an accuracy of 70%. Gradient Boosting classifier had a significantly greater AUC and accuracy compared to the SUVmax-based logistic regression (p

Conclusion Machine learning analysis of radiomic features may be of diagnostic value for discriminating FL from DLBCL tumor lesions, beyond that of the SUVmax alone.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Early online date1-Dec-2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • [F-18]FDG-PET/CT
  • machine learning
  • radiomic features
  • follicular lymphoma
  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

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