CT radiomics models are unable to predict new liver metastasis after successful thermal ablation of colorectal liver metastases

M. Taghavi, F.C.R. Staal, R. Simoes, E.K. Hong, D.M.J. Lambregts, U.A. van der Heide, R.G.H. Beets-Tan, M. Maas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Patients with colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) who undergo thermal ablation are at risk of developing new CRLM after ablation. Identification of these patients might enable individualized treatment. Purpose To investigate whether an existing machine-learning model with radiomics features based on pre-ablation computed tomography (CT) images of patients with colorectal cancer can predict development of new CRLM. Material and Methods In total, 94 patients with CRLM who were treated with thermal ablation were analyzed. Radiomics features were extracted from the healthy liver parenchyma of CT images in the portal venous phase, before thermal ablation. First, a previously developed radiomics model (Original model) was applied to the entire cohort to predict new CRLM after 6 and 24 months of follow-up. Next, new machine-learning models were developed (Radiomics, Clinical, and Combined), based on radiomics features, clinical features, or a combination of both. Results The external validation of the Original model reached an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.57 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.56-0.58) and 0.52 (95% CI=0.51-0.53) for 6 and 24 months of follow-up. The new predictive radiomics models yielded a higher performance at 6 months compared to 24 months. For the prediction of CRLM at 6 months, the Combined model had slightly better performance (AUC=0.60; 95% CI=0.59-0.61) compared to the Radiomics and Clinical models (AUC=0.55-0.57), while all three models had a low performance for the prediction at 24 months (AUC=0.52-0.53). Conclusion Both the Original and newly developed radiomics models were unable to predict new CLRM based on healthy liver parenchyma in patients who will undergo ablation for CRLM.
Original languageEnglish
Article number02841851211060437
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • X-ray computed tomography
  • colorectal cancer
  • liver neoplasms
  • liver ablation
  • machine learning


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