HMRNet: High and Multi-Resolution Network with Bidirectional Feature Calibration for Brain Structure Segmentation in Radiotherapy

7 Jun 2022  ·  Hao Fu, Guotai Wang, Wenhui Lei, Wei Xu, Qianfei Zhao, Shichuan Zhang, Kang Li, Shaoting Zhang ·

Accurate segmentation of Anatomical brain Barriers to Cancer spread (ABCs) plays an important role for automatic delineation of Clinical Target Volume (CTV) of brain tumors in radiotherapy. Despite that variants of U-Net are state-of-the-art segmentation models, they have limited performance when dealing with ABCs structures with various shapes and sizes, especially thin structures (e.g., the falx cerebri) that span only few slices. To deal with this problem, we propose a High and Multi-Resolution Network (HMRNet) that consists of a multi-scale feature learning branch and a high-resolution branch, which can maintain the high-resolution contextual information and extract more robust representations of anatomical structures with various scales. We further design a Bidirectional Feature Calibration (BFC) block to enable the two branches to generate spatial attention maps for mutual feature calibration. Considering the different sizes and positions of ABCs structures, our network was applied after a rough localization of each structure to obtain fine segmentation results. Experiments on the MICCAI 2020 ABCs challenge dataset showed that: 1) Our proposed two-stage segmentation strategy largely outperformed methods segmenting all the structures in just one stage; 2) The proposed HMRNet with two branches can maintain high-resolution representations and is effective to improve the performance on thin structures; 3) The proposed BFC block outperformed existing attention methods using monodirectional feature calibration. Our method won the second place of ABCs 2020 challenge and has a potential for more accurate and reasonable delineation of CTV of brain tumors.

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