This study aimed to build machine learning prediction models for predicting pathological subtypes of prevascular mediastinal tumors (PMTs). The candidate predictors were clinical variables and dynamic contrast–enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI)–derived perfusion parameters. The clinical data and preoperative DCE–MRI images of 62 PMT patients, including 17 patients with lymphoma, 31 with thymoma, and 14 with thymic carcinoma, were retrospectively analyzed. Six perfusion parameters were calculated as candidate predictors. Univariate receiver-operating-characteristic curve analysis was performed to evaluate the performance of the prediction models. A predictive model was built based on multi-class classification, which detected lymphoma, thymoma, and thymic carcinoma with sensitivity of 52.9%, 74.2%, and 92.8%, respectively. In addition, two predictive models were built based on binary classification for distinguishing Hodgkin from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and for distinguishing invasive from noninvasive thymoma, with sensitivity of 75% and 71.4%, respectively. In addition to two perfusion parameters (efflux rate constant from tissue extravascular extracellular space into the blood plasma, and extravascular extracellular space volume per unit volume of tissue), age and tumor volume were also essential parameters for predicting PMT subtypes. In conclusion, our machine learning–based predictive model, constructed with clinical data and perfusion parameters, may represent a useful tool for differential diagnosis of PMT subtypes.
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