Apr 16 2018 cs.CV
Fast and accurate anatomical landmark detection can benefit many medical image analysis methods. Here, we propose a method to automatically detect anatomical landmarks in medical images. Automatic landmark detection is performed with a patch-based fully convolutional neural network (FCNN) that combines regression and classification. For any given image patch, regression is used to predict the 3D displacement vector from the image patch to the landmark. Simultaneously, classification is used to identify patches that contain the landmark. Under the assumption that patches close to a landmark can determine the landmark location more precisely than patches farther from it, only those patches that contain the landmark according to classification are used to determine the landmark location. The landmark location is obtained by calculating the average landmark location using the computed 3D displacement vectors. The method is evaluated using detection of six clinically relevant landmarks in coronary CT angiography (CCTA) scans: the right and left ostium, the bifurcation of the left main coronary artery (LM) into the left anterior descending and the left circumflex artery, and the origin of the right, non-coronary, and left aortic valve commissure. The proposed method achieved an average Euclidean distance error of 2.19 mm and 2.88 mm for the right and left ostium respectively, 3.78 mm for the bifurcation of the LM, and 1.82 mm, 2.10 mm and 1.89 mm for the origin of the right, non-coronary, and left aortic valve commissure respectively, demonstrating accurate performance. The proposed combination of regression and classification can be used to accurately detect landmarks in CCTA scans.
Dec 11 2017 cs.CV
Coronary artery calcium (CAC) burden quantified in low-dose chest CT is a predictor of cardiovascular events. We propose an automatic method for CAC quantification, circumventing intermediate segmentation of CAC. The method determines a bounding box around the heart using a ConvNet for localization. Subsequently, a dedicated ConvNet analyzes axial slices within the bounding boxes to determine CAC quantity by regression. A dataset of 1,546 baseline CT scans was used from the National Lung Screening Trial with manually identified CAC. The method achieved an ICC of 0.98 between manual reference and automatically obtained Agatston scores. Stratification of subjects into five cardiovascular risk categories resulted in an accuracy of 85\% and Cohen's linearly weighted $\kappa$ of 0.90. The results demonstrate that real-time quantification of CAC burden in chest CT without the need for segmentation of CAC is possible.
Nov 02 2017 cs.CV
Heavy smokers undergoing screening with low-dose chest CT are affected by cardiovascular disease as much as by lung cancer. Low-dose chest CT scans acquired in screening enable quantification of atherosclerotic calcifications and thus enable identification of subjects at increased cardiovascular risk. This paper presents a method for automatic detection of coronary artery, thoracic aorta and cardiac valve calcifications in low-dose chest CT using two consecutive convolutional neural networks. The first network identifies and labels potential calcifications according to their anatomical location and the second network identifies true calcifications among the detected candidates. This method was trained and evaluated on a set of 1744 CT scans from the National Lung Screening Trial. To determine whether any reconstruction or only images reconstructed with soft tissue filters can be used for calcification detection, we evaluated the method on soft and medium/sharp filter reconstructions separately. On soft filter reconstructions, the method achieved F1 scores of 0.89, 0.89, 0.67, and 0.55 for coronary artery, thoracic aorta, aortic valve and mitral valve calcifications, respectively. On sharp filter reconstructions, the F1 scores were 0.84, 0.81, 0.64, and 0.66, respectively. Linearly weighted kappa coefficients for risk category assignment based on per subject coronary artery calcium were 0.91 and 0.90 for soft and sharp filter reconstructions, respectively. These results demonstrate that the presented method enables reliable automatic cardiovascular risk assessment in all low-dose chest CT scans acquired for lung cancer screening.
Apr 21 2017 cs.CV
In this work we propose a deep learning network for deformable image registration (DIRNet). The DIRNet consists of a convolutional neural network (ConvNet) regressor, a spatial transformer, and a resampler. The ConvNet analyzes a pair of fixed and moving images and outputs parameters for the spatial transformer, which generates the displacement vector field that enables the resampler to warp the moving image to the fixed image. The DIRNet is trained end-to-end by unsupervised optimization of a similarity metric between input image pairs. A trained DIRNet can be applied to perform registration on unseen image pairs in one pass, thus non-iteratively. Evaluation was performed with registration of images of handwritten digits (MNIST) and cardiac cine MR scans (Sunnybrook Cardiac Data). The results demonstrate that registration with DIRNet is as accurate as a conventional deformable image registration method with substantially shorter execution times.
Accurate delineation of the left ventricle (LV) is an important step in evaluation of cardiac function. In this paper, we present an automatic method for segmentation of the LV in cardiac CT angiography (CCTA) scans. Segmentation is performed in two stages. First, a bounding box around the LV is detected using a combination of three convolutional neural networks (CNNs). Subsequently, to obtain the segmentation of the LV, voxel classification is performed within the defined bounding box using a CNN. The study included CCTA scans of sixty patients, fifty scans were used to train the CNNs for the LV localization, five scans were used to train LV segmentation and the remaining five scans were used for testing the method. Automatic segmentation resulted in the average Dice coefficient of 0.85 and mean absolute surface distance of 1.1 mm. The results demonstrate that automatic segmentation of the LV in CCTA scans using voxel classification with convolutional neural networks is feasible.
Apr 20 2017 cs.CV
Localization of anatomical structures is a prerequisite for many tasks in medical image analysis. We propose a method for automatic localization of one or more anatomical structures in 3D medical images through detection of their presence in 2D image slices using a convolutional neural network (ConvNet). A single ConvNet is trained to detect presence of the anatomical structure of interest in axial, coronal, and sagittal slices extracted from a 3D image. To allow the ConvNet to analyze slices of different sizes, spatial pyramid pooling is applied. After detection, 3D bounding boxes are created by combining the output of the ConvNet in all slices. In the experiments 200 chest CT, 100 cardiac CT angiography (CTA), and 100 abdomen CT scans were used. The heart, ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta were localized in chest CT scans, the left cardiac ventricle in cardiac CTA scans, and the liver in abdomen CT scans. Localization was evaluated using the distances between automatically and manually defined reference bounding box centroids and walls. The best results were achieved in localization of structures with clearly defined boundaries (e.g. aortic arch) and the worst when the structure boundary was not clearly visible (e.g. liver). The method was more robust and accurate in localization multiple structures.