Semi-supervised Left Atrium Segmentation with Mutual Consistency Training

4 Mar 2021  ·  Yicheng Wu, Minfeng Xu, ZongYuan Ge, Jianfei Cai, Lei Zhang ·

Semi-supervised learning has attracted great attention in the field of machine learning, especially for medical image segmentation tasks, since it alleviates the heavy burden of collecting abundant densely annotated data for training. However, most of existing methods underestimate the importance of challenging regions (e.g. small branches or blurred edges) during training. We believe that these unlabeled regions may contain more crucial information to minimize the uncertainty prediction for the model and should be emphasized in the training process. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel Mutual Consistency Network (MC-Net) for semi-supervised left atrium segmentation from 3D MR images. Particularly, our MC-Net consists of one encoder and two slightly different decoders, and the prediction discrepancies of two decoders are transformed as an unsupervised loss by our designed cycled pseudo label scheme to encourage mutual consistency. Such mutual consistency encourages the two decoders to have consistent and low-entropy predictions and enables the model to gradually capture generalized features from these unlabeled challenging regions. We evaluate our MC-Net on the public Left Atrium (LA) database and it obtains impressive performance gains by exploiting the unlabeled data effectively. Our MC-Net outperforms six recent semi-supervised methods for left atrium segmentation, and sets the new state-of-the-art performance on the LA database.

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