Generative Adversarial Networks for Image-to-Image Translation on Multi-Contrast MR Images - A Comparison of CycleGAN and UNIT

20 Jun 2018  ·  Per Welander, Simon Karlsson, Anders Eklund ·

In medical imaging, a general problem is that it is costly and time consuming to collect high quality data from healthy and diseased subjects. Generative adversarial networks (GANs) is a deep learning method that has been developed for synthesizing data. GANs can thereby be used to generate more realistic training data, to improve classification performance of machine learning algorithms. Another application of GANs is image-to-image translations, e.g. generating magnetic resonance (MR) images from computed tomography (CT) images, which can be used to obtain multimodal datasets from a single modality. Here, we evaluate two unsupervised GAN models (CycleGAN and UNIT) for image-to-image translation of T1- and T2-weighted MR images, by comparing generated synthetic MR images to ground truth images. We also evaluate two supervised models; a modification of CycleGAN and a pure generator model. A small perceptual study was also performed to evaluate how visually realistic the synthesized images are. It is shown that the implemented GAN models can synthesize visually realistic MR images (incorrectly labeled as real by a human). It is also shown that models producing more visually realistic synthetic images not necessarily have better quantitative error measurements, when compared to ground truth data. Code is available at

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