Application of MR morphologic, diffusion tensor, and perfusion imaging in the classification of brain tumors using machine learning scheme

  • Shai ShrotEmail author
  • Moshe Salhov
  • Nir Dvorski
  • Eli Konen
  • Amir Averbuch
  • Chen Hoffmann
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



While MRI is the modality of choice for the assessment of patients with brain tumors, differentiation between various tumors based on their imaging characteristics might be challenging due to overlapping imaging features. The purpose of this study was to apply a machine learning scheme using basic and advanced MR sequences for distinguishing different types of brain tumors.


The study cohort included 141 patients (41 glioblastoma, 38 metastasis, 50 meningioma, and 12 primary central nervous system lymphoma). A computer-assisted classification scheme, combining morphologic MRI, perfusion MRI, and DTI metrics, was developed and used for tumor classification. The proposed multistep scheme consists of pre-processing, ROI definition, features extraction, feature selection, and classification. Feature subset selection was performed using support vector machines (SVMs). Classification performance was assessed by leave-one-out cross-validation. Given an ROI, the entire classification process was done automatically via computer and without any human intervention.


A binary hierarchical classification tree was chosen. In the first step, selected features were chosen for distinguishing glioblastoma from the remaining three classes, followed by separation of meningioma from metastasis and PCNSL, and then to discriminate PCNSL from metastasis. The binary SVM classification accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for glioblastoma, metastasis, meningiomas, and primary central nervous system lymphoma were 95.7, 81.6, and 91.2%; 92.7, 95.1, and 93.6%; 97, 90.8, and 58.3%; and 91.5, 90, and 96.9%, respectively.


A machine learning scheme using data from anatomical and advanced MRI sequences resulted in high-performance automatic tumor classification algorithm. Such a scheme can be integrated into clinical decision support systems to optimize tumor classification.


Computer Artificial intelligence Diagnosis Advance MRI 


Funding information

No funding was received for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the institutional research committee.

Informed consent

A wavier for informed consent was approved by institutional research committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic ImagingSheba Medical CenterRamat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Sackler School of MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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