Automatic Cardiac Structure Contouring for Small Datasets with Cascaded Deep Learning Models

L. B. van den Oever*, D. S. Spoor, A. P.G. Crijns, R. Vliegenthart, M. Oudkerk, R. N.J. Veldhuis, G. H. de Bock, P. M.A. van Ooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Cardiac structure contouring is a time consuming and tedious manual activity used for radiotherapeutic dose toxicity planning. We developed an automatic cardiac structure segmentation pipeline for use in low-dose non-contrast planning CT based on deep learning algorithms for small datasets. Fifty CT scans were retrospectively selected and the whole heart, ventricles and atria were contoured. A two stage deep learning pipeline was trained on 41 non contrast planning CTs, tuned with 3 CT scans and validated on 6 CT scans. In the first stage, An InceptionResNetV2 network was used to identify the slices that contained cardiac structures. The second stage consisted of three deep learning models trained on the images containing cardiac structures to segment the structures. The three deep learning models predicted the segmentations/contours on axial, coronal and sagittal images and are combined to create the final prediction. The final accuracy of the pipeline was quantified on 6 volumes by calculating the Dice similarity coefficient (DC), 95% Hausdorff distance (95% HD) and volume ratios between predicted and ground truth volumes. Median DC and 95% HD of 0.96, 0.88, 0.92, 0.80 and 0.82, and 1.86, 2.98, 2.02, 6.16 and 6.46 were achieved for the whole heart, right and left ventricle, and right and left atria respectively. The median differences in volume were -4, -1, + 5, -16 and -20% for the whole heart, right and left ventricle, and right and left atria respectively. The automatic contouring pipeline achieves good results for whole heart and ventricles. Robust automatic contouring with deep learning methods seems viable for local centers with small datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalJournal of medical systems
Volume46
Issue number5
Early online date25 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Heart
  • Structure segmentation
  • X-ray computed tomography

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