Original Investigation| Volume 30, ISSUE 5, P900-910, May 2023

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Comparison of Feature Selection Methods and Machine Learning Classifiers for Predicting Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using Texture-Based CT Lung Radiomic Features

Published:August 11, 2022DOI:


      Texture-based radiomics analysis of lung computed tomography (CT) images has been shown to predict chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) status using machine learning models. However, various approaches are used and it is unclear which provides the best performance.


      To compare the most commonly used feature selection and classification methods and determine the optimal models for classifying COPD status in a mild, population-based COPD cohort.

      Materials and Methods

      CT images from the multi-center Canadian Cohort Obstructive Lung Disease (CanCOLD) study were pre-processed by resampling the image to a 1mm isotropic voxel volume, segmenting the lung and removing the airways (VIDA Diagnostics Inc.), and applying a threshold of -1000HU-to-0HU. A total of 95 texture features were then extracted from each CT image. Combinations of 17 feature selection methods and 9 classifiers were tested and evaluated. In addition, the role of data cleaning (outlier removal and highly correlated feature removal) was evaluated. The area under the curve (AUC) from the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to evaluate model performance.


      A total of 1204 participants were evaluated (n = 602 no COPD, n = 602 COPD). There were no significant differences between the groups for female sex (no COPD = 46.3%; COPD = 38.5%; p = 0.77), or body mass index (no COPD = 27.7 kg/m2; COPD = 27.4 kg/m2; p = 0.21). The highest AUC value for predicting COPD status (AUC = 0.78 [0.73, 0.84]) was obtained following data cleaning and feature selection using Elastic Net with the Linear-SVM classifier.


      In a population-based cohort, the optimal combination for radiomics-based prediction of COPD status was Elastic Net as the feature selection method and Linear-SVM as the classifier.

      Key Words


      COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), CT (computed tomography), QCT (quantitative CT), HU (Hounsfield units), LAA950 (low attenuation areas below -950HU), CanCOLD (Canadian Cohort of Obstructive Lung Disease), GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), ATS (American Thoracic Society), FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second), FVC (forced vital capacity), HU15 (HU value corresponding to the 15th percentile on the frequency distribution curve), LAC (low attenuation cluster), TAC (total airway count), Pi-10 (estimated airway wall thickness for an idealized airway with an Internal Perimeter of 10 mm), NJC (normalized join count), SERA (Standardized Environment for Radiomics Analysis), IBSI (Image Biomarker Standardization Imitative), GLCM (gray level co-occurrence matrix), GLRLM (gray level run length matrix), GLSZM (gray level size zone matrix), GLDZM (gray level distance zone matrix), NGTDM (neighborhood gray tone difference matrix), NGLDM (neighboring gray level dependence matrix), ROC (receiver operating characteristic), AUC (area under the curve), CI (confidence interval), BMI (body mass index), PFT (pulmonary function test), SVM (support vector machine)
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