Radiomics Based On Thyroid Ultrasound Can Predict Distant Metastasis Of Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma
We aimed to evaluate whether radiomics analysis based on gray-scale ultrasound (US) can predict distant metastasis of follicular thyroid cancer (FTC). We retrospectively included 35 consecutive FTCs with distant metastases and 134 FTCs without distant metastasis. We extracted a total of 60 radiomics features derived from the first order, shape, gray-level cooccurrence matrix, and gray-level size zone matrix features using US imaging. A radiomics signature was generated using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator and was used to train a support vector machine (SVM) classifier in five-fold cross-validation. The SVM classifier showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.90 on average on the test folds. Age, size, widely invasive histology, extrathyroidal extension, lymph node metastases on pathology, nodule-in-nodule appearance, marked hypoechogenicity, and rim calcification on the US were significantly more frequent among FTCs with distant metastasis compared to those without metastasis (p < 0.05). Radiomics signature and widely invasive histology were significantly associated with distant metastasis on multivariate analysis (p < 0.01 and p = 0.003). The classifier using the results of the multivariate analysis showed an AUC of 0.93. The radiomics signature from thyroid ultrasound is an independent biomarker for noninvasively predicting distant metastasis of FTC.