Distinguishing between paediatric brain tumour types using multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging and machine learning: a multi-site study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Stephanie Withey
  • Lesley Macpherson
  • Adam Oates
  • Stephen Powell
  • Laurence Abernethy
  • Barry Pizer
  • Simon Bailey
  • Dipayan Mitra
  • Dorothee P. Auer
  • Shivaram Avula


The imaging and subsequent accurate diagnosis of paediatric brain tumours presents a radiological challenge, with magnetic resonance imaging playing a key role in providing tumour specific imaging information. Diffusion weighted and perfusion imaging are commonly used to aid the non-invasive diagnosis of children's brain tumours, but are usually evaluated by expert qualitative review. Quantitative studies are mainly single centre and single modality. The aim of this work was to combine multi-centre diffusion and perfusion imaging, with machine learning, to develop machine learning based classifiers to discriminate between three common paediatric tumour types. The results show that diffusion and perfusion weighted imaging of both the tumour and whole brain provide significant features which differ between tumour types, and that combining these features gives the optimal machine learning classifier with >80% predictive precision. This work represents a step forward to aid in the non-invasive diagnosis of paediatric brain tumours, using advanced clinical imaging.


Original languageEnglish
Article number102172
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


  • perfusion, diffusion, machine learning