A nomogram based on bi-regional radiomics features from multimodal magnetic resonance imaging for preoperative prediction of microvascular invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma

Rui Zhang, Lei Xu, Xue Wen, Jiahui Zhang, Pengfei Yang, Lixia Zhang, Xing Xue, Xiaoli Wang, Qiang Huang, Chuangen Guo, Yanjun Shi, Tianye Niu, Feng Chen


Background: We aimed to develop and validate a nomogram combining bi-regional radiomics features from multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinicoradiological characteristics to preoperatively predict microvascular invasion (MVI) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: A total of 267 HCC patients were divided into training (n=194) and validation (n=73) cohorts according to MRI data. Bi-regional features were extracted from whole tumors and peritumoral regions in multimodal MRI. The minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR) algorithm was applied to select features and build signatures. The predictive performance of the optimal radiomics signature was further evaluated within subgroups defined by tumor size and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) level. Then, a radiomics nomogram including the optimal radiomics signature, radiographic descriptors, and clinical variables was developed using multivariable regression. The nomogram performance was evaluated based on its discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility.
Results: The fusion radiomics signature derived from triphasic dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MR images can effectively classify MVI and non-MVI HCC patients, with an AUC of 0.784 (95% CI: 0.719–0.840) in the training cohort and 0.820 (95% CI: 0.713–0.900) in the validation cohort. The fusion radiomics signature also performed well in the subgroups defined by the two risk factors, respectively. The nomogram, consisting of the fusion radiomics signature, arterial peritumoral enhancement, and AFP level, outperformed the clinicoradiological prediction model in the validation cohort (AUCs: 0.858 vs. 0.729; P=0.022), fitting well in the calibration curves (P>0.05). Decision curves confirmed the clinical utility of the nomogram.
Conclusions: The radiomics nomogram can serve as a visual predictive tool for MVI in HCCs, and thus assist clinicians in selecting optimal treatment strategies to improve clinical outcomes.