Whole-volume vs. segmental CT texture analysis of the liver to assess metachronous colorectal liver metastases

R. C. J. Beckers, R. G. H. Beets-Tan, R. S. Schnerr, M. Maas, L. A. da Costa Andrade, G. L. Beets, C. H. Dejong, J. B. Houwers, D. M. J. Lambregts*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: It is unclear whether changes in liver texture in patients with colorectal cancer are caused by diffuse (e.g., perfusional) changes throughout the liver or rather based on focal changes (e.g., presence of occult metastases). The aim of this study is to compare a whole-liver approach to a segmental (Couinaud) approach for measuring the CT texture at the time of primary staging in patients who later develop metachronous metastases and evaluate whether assessing CT texture on a segmental level is of added benefit.

Methods: 46 Patients were included: 27 patients without metastases (follow-up > 2 years) and 19 patients who developed metachronous metastases within 24 months after diagnosis. Volumes of interest covering the whole liver were drawn on primary staging portal-phase CT. In addition, each liver segment was delineated separately. Mean gray-level intensity, entropy (E), and uniformity (U) were derived with different filters (sigma 0.5-2.5). Patients/segments without metastases and patients/segments that later developed metachronous metastases were compared using independent samples t tests.

Results: Absolute differences in entropy and uniformity between the group without metastases and the group with metachronous metastases group were consistently smaller for the segmental approach compared to the whole-liver approach. No statistically significant differences were found in the texture measurements between both groups.

Conclusions: In this small patient cohort, we could not demonstrate a clear predictive value to identify patients at risk of developing metachronous metastases within 2 years. Segmental CT texture analysis of the liver probably has no additional benefit over whole-liver texture analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2639-2645
Number of pages7
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Liver metastases
  • CT texture
  • Occult disease
  • Metachronous metastases
  • Micro metastases

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