Prognostication and surgical planning for WHO grade I versus grade II meningioma requires thoughtful decision-making based on radiographic evidence, among other factors. Although conventional statistical models such as logistic regression are useful, machine learning (ML) algorithms are often more predictive, have higher discriminative ability, and can learn from new data. The authors used conventional statistical models and an array of ML algorithms to predict atypical meningioma based on radiologist-interpreted preoperative MRI findings. The goal of this study was to compare the performance of ML algorithms to standard statistical methods when predicting meningioma grade.
The cohort included patients aged 18–65 years with WHO grade I (n = 94) and II (n = 34) meningioma in whom preoperative MRI was obtained between 1998 and 2010. A board-certified neuroradiologist, blinded to histological grade, interpreted all MR images for tumor volume, degree of peritumoral edema, presence of necrosis, tumor location, presence of a draining vein, and patient sex. The authors trained and validated several binary classifiers: k-nearest neighbors models, support vector machines, naïve Bayes classifiers, and artificial neural networks as well as logistic regression models to predict tumor grade. The area under the curve–receiver operating characteristic curve was used for comparison across and within model classes. All analyses were performed in MATLAB using a MacBook Pro.
The authors included 6 preoperative imaging and demographic variables: tumor volume, degree of peritumoral edema, presence of necrosis, tumor location, patient sex, and presence of a draining vein to construct the models. The artificial neural networks outperformed all other ML models across the true-positive versus false-positive (receiver operating characteristic) space (area under curve = 0.8895).
ML algorithms are powerful computational tools that can predict meningioma grade with great accuracy.