We present MedShapeNet, a large collection of anatomical shapes (e.g., bones, organs, vessels) and 3D surgical instrument models. Prior to the deep learning era, the broad application of statistical shape models (SSMs) in medical image analysis is evidence that shapes have been commonly used to describe medical data. Nowadays, however, state-of-the-art (SOTA) deep learning algorithms in medical imaging are predominantly voxel-based. In computer vision, on the contrary, shapes (including, voxel occupancy grids, meshes, point clouds and implicit surface models) are preferred data representations in 3D, as seen from the numerous shape-related publications in premier vision conferences, such as the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), as well as the increasing popularity of ShapeNet (about 51,300 models) and Princeton ModelNet (127,915 models) in computer vision research. MedShapeNet is created as an alternative to these commonly used shape benchmarks to facilitate the translation of data-driven vision algorithms to medical applications, and it extends the opportunities to adapt SOTA vision algorithms to solve critical medical problems. Besides, the majority of the medical shapes in MedShapeNet are modeled directly on the imaging data of real patients, and therefore it complements well existing shape benchmarks comprising of computer-aided design (CAD) models. MedShapeNet currently includes more than 100,000 medical shapes, and provides annotations in the form of paired data. It is therefore also a freely available repository of 3D models for extended reality (virtual reality - VR, augmented reality - AR, mixed reality - MR) and medical 3D printing. This white paper describes in detail the motivations behind MedShapeNet, the shape acquisition procedures, the use cases, as well as the usage of the online shape search portal: https://medshapenet.ikim.nrw/
International benchmarking competitions have become fundamental for the comparative performance assessment of image analysis methods. However, little attention has been given to investigating what can be learnt from these competitions. Do they really generate scientific progress? What are common and successful participation strategies? What makes a solution superior to a competing method? To address this gap in the literature, we performed a multi-center study with all 80 competitions that were conducted in the scope of IEEE ISBI 2021 and MICCAI 2021. Statistical analyses performed based on comprehensive descriptions of the submitted algorithms linked to their rank as well as the underlying participation strategies revealed common characteristics of winning solutions. These typically include the use of multi-task learning (63%) and/or multi-stage pipelines (61%), and a focus on augmentation (100%), image preprocessing (97%), data curation (79%), and postprocessing (66%). The "typical" lead of a winning team is a computer scientist with a doctoral degree, five years of experience in biomedical image analysis, and four years of experience in deep learning. Two core general development strategies stood out for highly-ranked teams: the reflection of the metrics in the method design and the focus on analyzing and handling failure cases. According to the organizers, 43% of the winning algorithms exceeded the state of the art but only 11% completely solved the respective domain problem. The insights of our study could help researchers (1) improve algorithm development strategies when approaching new problems, and (2) focus on open research questions revealed by this work.
Designing implants for large and complex cranial defects is a challenging task, even for professional designers. Current efforts on automating the design process focused mainly on convolutional neural networks (CNN), which have produced state-of-the-art results on reconstructing synthetic defects. However, existing CNN-based methods have been difficult to translate to clinical practice in cranioplasty, as their performance on complex and irregular cranial defects remains unsatisfactory. In this paper, a statistical shape model (SSM) built directly on the segmentation masks of the skulls is presented. We evaluate the SSM on several cranial implant design tasks, and the results show that, while the SSM performs suboptimally on synthetic defects compared to CNN-based approaches, it is capable of reconstructing large and complex defects with only minor manual corrections. The quality of the resulting implants is examined and assured by experienced neurosurgeons. In contrast, CNN-based approaches, even with massive data augmentation, fail or produce less-than-satisfactory implants for these cases. Codes are publicly available at https://github.com/Jianningli/ssm