Unsupervised learning for cross-domain medical image synthesis using deformation invariant cycle consistency networks

Recently, the cycle-consistent generative adversarial networks (CycleGAN) has been widely used for synthesis of multi-domain medical images. The domain-specific nonlinear deformations captured by CycleGAN make the synthesized images difficult to be used for some applications, for example, generating pseudo-CT for PET-MR attenuation correction. This paper presents a deformation-invariant CycleGAN (DicycleGAN) method using deformable convolutional layers and new cycle-consistency losses. Its robustness dealing with data that suffer from domain-specific nonlinear deformations has been evaluated through comparison experiments performed on a multi-sequence brain MR dataset and a multi-modality abdominal dataset. Our method has displayed its ability to generate synthesized data that is aligned with the source while maintaining a proper quality of signal compared to CycleGAN-generated data. The proposed model also obtained comparable performance with CycleGAN when data from the source and target domains are alignable through simple affine transformations.

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