Radiomics of pericardial fat: a new frontier in heart failure discrimination and prediction.
Szabo L., Salih A., Pujadas ER., Bard A., McCracken C., Ardissino M., Antoniades C., Vago H., Maurovich-Horvat P., Merkely B., Neubauer S., Lekadir K., Petersen SE., Raisi-Estabragh Z.
ObjectivesTo use pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) radiomics phenotyping to differentiate existing and predict future heart failure (HF) cases in the UK Biobank.MethodsPAT segmentations were derived from cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) studies using an automated quality-controlled model to define the region-of-interest for radiomics analysis. Prevalent (present at time of imaging) and incident (first occurrence after imaging) HF were ascertained using health record linkage. We created balanced cohorts of non-HF individuals for comparison. PyRadiomics was utilised to extract 104 radiomics features, of which 28 were chosen after excluding highly correlated ones (0.8). These features, plus sex and age, served as predictors in binary classification models trained separately to detect (1) prevalent and (2) incident HF. We tested seven modeling methods using tenfold nested cross-validation and examined feature importance with explainability methods.ResultsWe studied 1204 participants in total, 297 participants with prevalent (60 ± 7 years, 21% female) and 305 with incident (61 ± 6 years, 32% female) HF, and an equal number of non-HF comparators. We achieved good discriminative performance for both prevalent (voting classifier; AUC: 0.76; F1 score: 0.70) and incident (light gradient boosting machine: AUC: 0.74; F1 score: 0.68) HF. Our radiomics models showed marginally better performance compared to PAT area alone. Increased PAT size (maximum 2D diameter in a given column or slice) and texture heterogeneity (sum entropy) were important features for prevalent and incident HF classification models.ConclusionsThe amount and character of PAT discriminate individuals with prevalent HF and predict incidence of future HF.Clinical relevance statementThis study presents an innovative application of pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) radiomics phenotyping as a predictive tool for heart failure (HF), a major public health concern. By leveraging advanced machine learning methods, the research uncovers that the quantity and characteristics of PAT can be used to identify existing cases of HF and predict future occurrences. The enhanced performance of these radiomics models over PAT area alone supports the potential for better personalised care through earlier detection and prevention of HF.Key points•PAT radiomics applied to CMR was used for the first time to derive binary machine learning classifiers to develop models for discrimination of prevalence and prediction of incident heart failure. •Models using PAT area provided acceptable discrimination between cases of prevalent or incident heart failure and comparator groups. •An increased PAT volume (increased diameter using shape features) and greater texture heterogeneity captured by radiomics texture features (increased sum entropy) can be used as an additional classifier marker for heart failure.