MRI-Based Radiomics to Differentiate between Benign and Malignant Parotid Tumors With External Validation

Francesca Piludu, Simona Marzi, Marco Ravanelli, Raul Pellini, Renato Covello, Irene Terrenato, Davide Farina, Riccardo Campora, Valentina Ferrazzoli, Antonello Vidiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The differentiation between benign and malignant parotid lesions is crucial to defining the treatment plan, which highly depends on the tumor histology. We aimed to evaluate the role of MRI-based radiomics using both T2-weighted (T2-w) images and Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) maps in the differentiation of parotid lesions, in order to develop predictive models with an external validation cohort. Materials and Methods: A sample of 69 untreated parotid lesions was evaluated retrospectively, including 37 benign (of which 13 were Warthin’s tumors) and 32 malignant tumors. The patient population was divided into three groups: benign lesions (24 cases), Warthin’s lesions (13 cases), and malignant lesions (32 cases), which were compared in pairs. First- and second-order features were derived for each lesion. Margins and contrast enhancement patterns (CE) were qualitatively assessed. The model with the final feature set was achieved using the support vector machine binary classification algorithm. Results: Models for discriminating between Warthin’s and malignant tumors, benign and Warthin’s tumors and benign and malignant tumors had an accuracy of 86.7%, 91.9% and 80.4%, respectively. After the feature selection process, four parameters for each model were used, including histogram-based features from ADC and T2-w images, shape-based features and types of margins and/or CE. Comparable accuracies were obtained after validation with the external cohort. Conclusions: Radiomic analysis of ADC, T2-w images, and qualitative scores evaluating margins and CE allowed us to obtain good to excellent diagnostic accuracies in differentiating parotid lesions, which were confirmed with an external validation cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number656918
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 27 2021


  • DWI
  • head and neck (H&N) cancer
  • MRI
  • radiomics
  • salivary gland (SG) tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'MRI-Based Radiomics to Differentiate between Benign and Malignant Parotid Tumors With External Validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this