BACKGROUND - Texture analysis is a promising method of analyzing imaging data to potentially enhance diagnostic capability. This approach involves automated measurement of pixel intensity variation that may offer further insight into disease progression than do standard imaging techniques alone. We postulated that postoperative liver insufficiency, a major source of morbidity and mortality, correlates with preoperative heterogeneous parenchymal enhancement that can be quantified with texture analysis of cross-sectional imaging.
STUDY DESIGN - A retrospective case-matched study (waiver of informed consent and HIPAA authorization, approved by the Institutional Review Board) was performed comparing patients who underwent major hepatic resection and developed liver insufficiency (n = 12) with a matched group of patients with no postoperative liver insufficiency (n = 24) by procedure, remnant volume, and year of procedure. Texture analysis (with gray-level co-occurrence matrices) was used to quantify the heterogeneity of liver parenchyma on preoperative CT scans. Statistical significance was evaluated using Wilcoxon's signed rank and Pearson's chi-square tests.
RESULTS - No statistically significant differences were found between study groups for preoperative patient demographics and clinical characteristics, with the exception of sex (p < 0.05). Two texture features differed significantly between the groups: correlation (linear dependency of gray levels on neighboring pixels) and entropy (randomness of brightness variation) (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS - In this preliminary study, the texture of liver parenchyma on preoperative CT was significantly more varied, less symmetric, and less homogeneous in patients with postoperative liver insufficiency. Therefore, texture analysis has the potential to provide an additional means of preoperative risk stratification.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.