Background: The connection between testicular ultrasound (US) parameters and testicular function, including both spermato- and steroidogenesis has been largely suggested, but their predictive properties are not routinely applied. Radiomics, a new engineering approach to radiological imaging, could overcome the visual limit of the sonographer. Objectives: This study is aimed at extracting objective testicular US features, correlating with testicular function, including both spermato- and steroidogenesis, using engineering approach, in order to overcome the operator-dependent subjectivity. Materials and methods: Prospective observational pilot study from December 2019 to December 2020 on normozoospermic subjects and patients with semen variables alterations, excluding azoospermia. All patients underwent conventional semen analysis, pituitary-gonadal hormones assessment and testicular US, performed by the same operator. US images were analysed by Biolab (Turin) throughout image segmentation, image pre-processing and texture features extraction. Results: 170 US testicular images were collected from 85 patients (age 38.6±9.1 years). A total of 44 first-order and advanced features were extracted. US inhomogeneity defined by radiomics significantly correlate with the andrologist definition, showing for the first time a mathematical quantification of a subjective US evaluation. 13 US texture features correlated with semen parameters, predicting sperm concentration, total sperm number, progressive motility, total motility and morphology, and with gonadotropins serum levels, but not with total testosterone serum levels. Classification analyses confirmed that US textural features predicted patients' classification according to semen parameters alterations. Conclusions: Radiomics texture features qualitatively describe the testicular parenchyma with objective and reliable quantitative parameters, reflecting both the testicular spermatogenic capability and the action of pituitary gonadotropins. This is an innovative model in which US texture features represent a mirror of the pituitary-gonadal homeostasis in terms of reproductive function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

From subjective to objective: A pilot study on testicular radiomics analysis as a measure of gonadal function / De Santi, Bruno; Spaggiari, Giorgia; Granata, Antonio Rm; Romeo, Marilina; Molinari, Filippo; Simoni, Manuela; Santi, Daniele. - In: ANDROLOGY. - ISSN 2047-2919. - (2021), pp. 1-10. [10.1111/andr.13131]

From subjective to objective: A pilot study on testicular radiomics analysis as a measure of gonadal function

Spaggiari, Giorgia;Romeo, Marilina;Molinari, Filippo;Simoni, Manuela;Santi, Daniele
2021

Abstract

Background: The connection between testicular ultrasound (US) parameters and testicular function, including both spermato- and steroidogenesis has been largely suggested, but their predictive properties are not routinely applied. Radiomics, a new engineering approach to radiological imaging, could overcome the visual limit of the sonographer. Objectives: This study is aimed at extracting objective testicular US features, correlating with testicular function, including both spermato- and steroidogenesis, using engineering approach, in order to overcome the operator-dependent subjectivity. Materials and methods: Prospective observational pilot study from December 2019 to December 2020 on normozoospermic subjects and patients with semen variables alterations, excluding azoospermia. All patients underwent conventional semen analysis, pituitary-gonadal hormones assessment and testicular US, performed by the same operator. US images were analysed by Biolab (Turin) throughout image segmentation, image pre-processing and texture features extraction. Results: 170 US testicular images were collected from 85 patients (age 38.6±9.1 years). A total of 44 first-order and advanced features were extracted. US inhomogeneity defined by radiomics significantly correlate with the andrologist definition, showing for the first time a mathematical quantification of a subjective US evaluation. 13 US texture features correlated with semen parameters, predicting sperm concentration, total sperm number, progressive motility, total motility and morphology, and with gonadotropins serum levels, but not with total testosterone serum levels. Classification analyses confirmed that US textural features predicted patients' classification according to semen parameters alterations. Conclusions: Radiomics texture features qualitatively describe the testicular parenchyma with objective and reliable quantitative parameters, reflecting both the testicular spermatogenic capability and the action of pituitary gonadotropins. This is an innovative model in which US texture features represent a mirror of the pituitary-gonadal homeostasis in terms of reproductive function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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From subjective to objective: A pilot study on testicular radiomics analysis as a measure of gonadal function / De Santi, Bruno; Spaggiari, Giorgia; Granata, Antonio Rm; Romeo, Marilina; Molinari, Filippo; Simoni, Manuela; Santi, Daniele. - In: ANDROLOGY. - ISSN 2047-2919. - (2021), pp. 1-10. [10.1111/andr.13131]
De Santi, Bruno; Spaggiari, Giorgia; Granata, Antonio Rm; Romeo, Marilina; Molinari, Filippo; Simoni, Manuela; Santi, Daniele
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1256642
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