ACN: Adversarial Co-training Network for Brain Tumor Segmentation with Missing Modalities

Accurate segmentation of brain tumors from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is clinically relevant in diagnoses, prognoses and surgery treatment, which requires multiple modalities to provide complementary morphological and physiopathologic information. However, missing modality commonly occurs due to image corruption, artifacts, different acquisition protocols or allergies to certain contrast agents in clinical practice. Though existing efforts demonstrate the possibility of a unified model for all missing situations, most of them perform poorly when more than one modality is missing. In this paper, we propose a novel Adversarial Co-training Network (ACN) to solve this issue, in which a series of independent yet related models are trained dedicated to each missing situation with significantly better results. Specifically, ACN adopts a novel co-training network, which enables a coupled learning process for both full modality and missing modality to supplement each other's domain and feature representations, and more importantly, to recover the `missing' information of absent modalities. Then, two unsupervised modules, i.e., entropy and knowledge adversarial learning modules are proposed to minimize the domain gap while enhancing prediction reliability and encouraging the alignment of latent representations, respectively. We also adapt modality-mutual information knowledge transfer learning to ACN to retain the rich mutual information among modalities. Extensive experiments on BraTS2018 dataset show that our proposed method significantly outperforms all state-of-the-art methods under any missing situation.

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