A Guide to ComBat Harmonization of Imaging Biomarkers in Multicenter Studies

Fanny Orlhac, Jakoba J. Eertink, Anne-S. golène Cottereau, Josée M. Zijlstra, Catherine Thieblemont, Michel Meignan, Ronald Boellaard, Irène Buvat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The impact of PET image acquisition and reconstruction parameters on SUV measurements or radiomic feature values is widely documented. This "scanner" effect is detrimental to the design and validation of predictive or prognostic models and limits the use of large multicenter cohorts. To reduce the impact of this scanner effect, the ComBat method has been proposed and is now used in various contexts. The purpose of this article is to explain and illustrate the use of ComBat based on practical examples. We also give examples in which the ComBat assumptions are not met; thus, ComBat should not be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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