Machine learning applications in imaging analysis for patients with pituitary tumors: a review of the current literature and future directions Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To provide an overview of fundamental concepts in machine learning (ML), review the literature on ML applications in imaging analysis of pituitary tumors for the last 10 years, and highlight the future directions on potential applications of ML for pituitary tumor patients. METHOD: We presented an overview of the fundamental concepts in ML, its various stages used in healthcare, and highlighted the key components typically present in an imaging-based tumor analysis pipeline. A search was conducted across four databases (PubMed, Ovid, Embase, and Google Scholar) to gather research articles from the past 10 years (2009-2019) involving imaging related to pituitary tumor and ML. We grouped the studies by imaging modalities and analyzed the ML tasks in terms of the data inputs, reference standards, methodologies, and limitations. RESULTS: Of the 16 studies included in our analysis, 10 appeared in 2018-2019. Most of the studies utilized retrospective data and followed a semi-automatic ML pipeline. The studies included use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), facial photographs, surgical microscopic video, spectrometry, and spectroscopy imaging. The objectives of the studies covered 14 distinct applications and majority of the studies addressed a binary classification problem. Only five of the 11 MRI-based studies had an external validation or a holdout set to test the performance of a final trained model. CONCLUSION: Through our concise evaluation and comparison of the studies using the concepts presented, we highlight future directions so that potential ML applications using different imaging modalities can be developed to benefit the clinical care of pituitary tumor patients.


  • Saha, Ashirbani
  • Tso, Samantha
  • Rabski, Jessica
  • Sadeghian, Alireza
  • Cusimano, Michael D

publication date

  • 2020