MRI radiomics features predict immuno-oncological characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma

Stefanie J. Hectors, Sara Lewis, Cecilia Besa, Michael J. King, Daniela Said, Juan Putra, Stephen Ward, Takaaki Higashi, Swan Thung, Shen Yao, Ilaria Laface, Myron Schwartz, Sacha Gnjatic, Miriam Merad, Yujin Hoshida, Bachir Taouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the value of qualitative and quantitative MRI radiomics features for noninvasive prediction of immuno-oncologic characteristics and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: This retrospective, IRB-approved study included 48 patients with HCC (M/F 35/13, mean age 60y) who underwent hepatic resection or transplant within 4 months of abdominal MRI. Qualitative imaging traits, quantitative nontexture related and texture features were assessed in index lesions on contrast-enhanced T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted images. The association of imaging features with immunoprofiling and genomics features was assessed using binary logistic regression and correlation analyses. Binary logistic regression analysis was also employed to analyse the association of radiomics, histopathologic and genomics features with radiological early recurrence of HCC at 12 months. Results: Qualitative (r = − 0.41–0.40, p < 0.042) and quantitative (r = − 0.52–0.45, p < 0.049) radiomics features correlated with immunohistochemical cell type markers for T-cells (CD3), macrophages (CD68) and endothelial cells (CD31). Radiomics features also correlated with expression of immunotherapy targets PD-L1 at protein level (r = 0.41–0.47, p < 0.029) as well as PD1 and CTLA4 at mRNA expression level (r = − 0.48–0.47, p < 0.037). Finally, radiomics features, including tumour size, showed significant diagnostic performance for assessment of early HCC recurrence (AUC 0.76–0.80, p < 0.043), while immunoprofiling and genomic features did not (p = 0.098–0929). Conclusions: MRI radiomics features may serve as noninvasive predictors of HCC immuno-oncological characteristics and tumour recurrence and may aid in treatment stratification of HCC patients. These results need prospective validation. Key Points: • MRI radiomics features showed significant associations with immunophenotyping and genomics characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma. • Radiomics features, including tumour size, showed significant associations with early hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3759-3769
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Correlation of data
  • Genomics
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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