Classification of brain tumor type and grade using MRI texture and shape in a machine learning scheme

Evangelia I. Zacharaki, Sumei Wang, Sanjeev Chawla, Dong Soo Yoo, Ronald Wolf, Elias R. Melhem, Christos Davatzikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to investigate the use of pattern classification methods for distinguishing different types of brain tumors, such as primary gliomas from metastases, and also for grading of gliomas. The availability of an automated computer analysis tool that is more objective than human readers can potentially lead to more reliable and reproducible brain tumor diagnostic procedures. A computer-assisted classification method combining conventional MRI and perfusion MRI is developed and used for differential diagnosis. The proposed scheme consists of several steps including region-of-interest definition, feature extraction, feature selection, and classification. The extracted features include tumor shape and intensity characteristics, as well as rotation invariant texture features. Feature subset selection is performed using support vector machines with recursive feature elimination. The method was applied on a population of 102 brain tumors histologically diagnosed as metastasis (24), meningiomas (4), gliomas World Health Organization grade II (22), gliomas World Health Organization grade III (18), and glioblastomas (34). The binary support vector machine classification accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, assessed by leave-one-out cross-validation, were, respectively, 85%, 87%, and 79% for discrimination of metastases from gliomas and 88%, 85%, and 96% for discrimination of high-grade (grades III and IV) from low-grade (grade II) neoplasms. Multiclass classification was also performed via a one-vs-all voting scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1618
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumor
  • Classification
  • Feature selection
  • MRI
  • SVM
  • Texture
  • Tumor grade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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