OTFPF: Optimal Transport-Based Feature Pyramid Fusion Network for Brain Age Estimation with 3D Overlapped ConvNeXt

10 May 2022  ·  Yu Fu, Yanyan Huang, Yalin Wang, Shunjie Dong, Le Xue, Xunzhao Yin, Qianqian Yang, Yiyu Shi, Cheng Zhuo ·

Chronological age of healthy brain is able to be predicted using deep neural networks from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (T1 MRIs), and the predicted brain age could serve as an effective biomarker for detecting aging-related diseases or disorders. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end neural network architecture, referred to as optimal transport based feature pyramid fusion (OTFPF) network, for the brain age estimation with T1 MRIs. The OTFPF consists of three types of modules: Optimal Transport based Feature Pyramid Fusion (OTFPF) module, 3D overlapped ConvNeXt (3D OL-ConvNeXt) module and fusion module. These modules strengthen the OTFPF network's understanding of each brain's semi-multimodal and multi-level feature pyramid information, and significantly improve its estimation performances. Comparing with recent state-of-the-art models, the proposed OTFPF converges faster and performs better. The experiments with 11,728 MRIs aged 3-97 years show that OTFPF network could provide accurate brain age estimation, yielding mean absolute error (MAE) of 2.097, Pearson's correlation coefficient (PCC) of 0.993 and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (SRCC) of 0.989, between the estimated and chronological ages. Widespread quantitative experiments and ablation experiments demonstrate the superiority and rationality of OTFPF network. The codes and implement details will be released on GitHub: https://github.com/ZJU-Brain/OTFPF after final decision.

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