: In this prospective study, 117 female patients (mean age = 53 years) with 127 histologically proven breast cancer lesions (lymph node (LN) positive = 85, LN negative = 42) underwent simultaneous 18F-FDG PET/MRI of the breast. Quantitative parameters were calculated from dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) imaging (tumor Mean Transit Time, Volume Distribution, Plasma Flow), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) (tumor ADCmean), and PET (tumor SUVmax, mean and minimum, SUVmean of ipsilateral breast parenchyma). Manual whole-lesion segmentation was also performed on DCE, T2-weighted, DWI, and PET images, and radiomic features were extracted. The dataset was divided into a training (70%) and a test set (30%). Multi-step feature selection was performed, and a support vector machine classifier was trained and tested for predicting axillary LN status. 13 radiomic features from DCE, DWI, T2-weighted, and PET images were selected for model building. The classifier obtained an accuracy of 79.8 (AUC = 0.798) in the training set and 78.6% (AUC = 0.839), with sensitivity and specificity of 67.9% and 100%, respectively, in the test set. A machine learning-based radiomics model comprising 18F-FDG PET/MRI radiomic features extracted from the primary breast cancer lesions allows high accuracy in non-invasive identification of axillary LN metastasis.
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