Spatial Aggregation of Holistically-Nested Convolutional Neural Networks for Automated Pancreas Localization and Segmentation

31 Jan 2017  ·  Holger R. Roth, Le Lu, Nathan Lay, Adam P. Harrison, Amal Farag, Andrew Sohn, Ronald M. Summers ·

Accurate and automatic organ segmentation from 3D radiological scans is an important yet challenging problem for medical image analysis. Specifically, the pancreas demonstrates very high inter-patient anatomical variability in both its shape and volume. In this paper, we present an automated system using 3D computed tomography (CT) volumes via a two-stage cascaded approach: pancreas localization and segmentation. For the first step, we localize the pancreas from the entire 3D CT scan, providing a reliable bounding box for the more refined segmentation step. We introduce a fully deep-learning approach, based on an efficient application of holistically-nested convolutional networks (HNNs) on the three orthogonal axial, sagittal, and coronal views. The resulting HNN per-pixel probability maps are then fused using pooling to reliably produce a 3D bounding box of the pancreas that maximizes the recall. We show that our introduced localizer compares favorably to both a conventional non-deep-learning method and a recent hybrid approach based on spatial aggregation of superpixels using random forest classification. The second, segmentation, phase operates within the computed bounding box and integrates semantic mid-level cues of deeply-learned organ interior and boundary maps, obtained by two additional and separate realizations of HNNs. By integrating these two mid-level cues, our method is capable of generating boundary-preserving pixel-wise class label maps that result in the final pancreas segmentation. Quantitative evaluation is performed on a publicly available dataset of 82 patient CT scans using 4-fold cross-validation (CV). We achieve a Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 81.27+/-6.27% in validation, which significantly outperforms previous state-of-the art methods that report DSCs of 71.80+/-10.70% and 78.01+/-8.20%, respectively, using the same dataset.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
3D Medical Imaging Segmentation TCIA Pancreas-CT Holistic-nested CNN Dice Score 81.3 # 1


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