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The Impact of Artificial Intelligence CNN Based Denoising on FDG PET Radiomics

Abstract : Background: With a constantly increasing number of diagnostic images performed each year, Artificial Intelligence (AI) denoising methods offer an opportunity to respond to the growing demand. However, it may affect information in the image in an unknown manner. This study quantifies the effect of AI-based denoising on FDG PET textural information in comparison to a convolution with a standard gaussian postfilter (EARL1). Methods: The study was carried out on 113 patients who underwent a digital FDG PET/ CT (VEREOS, Philips Healthcare). 101 FDG avid lesions were segmented semiautomatically by a nuclear medicine physician. VOIs in the liver and lung as reference organs were contoured. PET textural features were extracted with pyradiomics. Texture features from AI denoised and EARL1 versus original PET images were compared with a Concordance Correlation Coefficient (CCC). Features with CCC values ≥ 0.85 threshold were considered concordant. Scatter plots of variable pairs with R2 coefficients of the more relevant features were computed. A Wilcoxon signed rank test to compare the absolute values between AI denoised and original images was performed. Results: The ratio of concordant features was 90/104 (86.5%) in AI denoised versus 46/104 (44.2%) with EARL1 denoising. In the reference organs, the concordant ratio for AI and EARL1 denoised images was low, respectively 12/104 (11.5%) and 7/104 (6.7%) in the liver, 26/104 (25%) and 24/104 (23.1%) in the lung. SUVpeak was stable after the application of both algorithms in comparison to SUVmax. Scatter plots of variable pairs showed that AI filtering affected more lower versus high intensity regions unlike EARL1 gaussian post filters, affecting both in a similar way. In lesions, the majority of texture features 79/100 (79%) were significantly (p<0.05) different between AI denoised and original PET images. Conclusions: Applying an AI-based denoising on FDG PET images maintains most of the lesion's texture information in contrast to EARL1-compatible Gaussian filter. Predictive features of a trained model could be thus the same, however with an adapted threshold. Artificial intelligence based denoising in PET is a very promising approach as it adapts the denoising in function of the tissue type, preserving information where it should.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03335315
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Submitted on : Monday, September 6, 2021 - 10:30:28 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:35:15 PM

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Cyril Jaudet, Kathleen Weyts, Alexis Lechervy, Alain Batalla, Stéphane Bardet, et al.. The Impact of Artificial Intelligence CNN Based Denoising on FDG PET Radiomics. Frontiers in Oncology, Frontiers, 2021, 11, pp.692973. ⟨10.3389/fonc.2021.692973⟩. ⟨hal-03335315⟩

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