We present a semi-supervised domain adaptation framework for brain vessel segmentation from different image modalities. Existing state-of-the-art methods focus on a single modality, despite the wide range of available cerebrovascular imaging techniques. This can lead to significant distribution shifts that negatively impact the generalization across modalities. By relying on annotated angiographies and a limited number of annotated venographies, our framework accomplishes image-to-image translation and semantic segmentation, leveraging a disentangled and semantically rich latent space to represent heterogeneous data and perform image-level adaptation from source to target domains. Moreover, we reduce the typical complexity of cycle-based architectures and minimize the use of adversarial training, which allows us to build an efficient and intuitive model with stable training. We evaluate our method on magnetic resonance angiographies and venographies. While achieving state-of-the-art performance in the source domain, our method attains a Dice score coefficient in the target domain that is only 8.9% lower, highlighting its promising potential for robust cerebrovascular image segmentation across different modalities.
The use of deep learning techniques for 3D brain vessel image segmentation has not been as widespread as for the segmentation of other organs and tissues. This can be explained by two factors. First, deep learning techniques tend to show poor performances at the segmentation of relatively small objects compared to the size of the full image. Second, due to the complexity of vascular trees and the small size of vessels, it is challenging to obtain the amount of annotated training data typically needed by deep learning methods. To address these problems, we propose a novel annotation-efficient deep learning vessel segmentation framework. The framework avoids pixel-wise annotations, only requiring patch-level labels to discriminate between vessel and non-vessel 2D patches in the training set, in a setup similar to the CAPTCHAs used to differentiate humans from bots in web applications. The user-provided annotations are used for two tasks: 1) to automatically generate pixel-wise labels for vessels and background in each patch, which are used to train a segmentation network, and 2) to train a classifier network. The classifier network allows to generate additional weak patch labels, further reducing the annotation burden, and it acts as a noise filter for poor quality images. We use this framework for the segmentation of the cerebrovascular tree in Time-of-Flight angiography (TOF) and Susceptibility-Weighted Images (SWI). The results show that the framework achieves state-of-the-art accuracy, while reducing the annotation time by up to 80% with respect to learning-based segmentation methods using pixel-wise labels for training
We describe a novel, two-stage computer assistance system for lung anomaly detection using ultrasound imaging in the intensive care setting to improve operator performance and patient stratification during coronavirus pandemics. The proposed system consists of two deep-learning-based models. A quality assessment module automates predictions of image quality, and a diagnosis assistance module determines the likelihood-of-anomaly in ultrasound images of sufficient quality. Our two-stage strategy uses a novelty detection algorithm to address the lack of control cases available for training a quality assessment classifier. The diagnosis assistance module can then be trained with data that are deemed of sufficient quality, guaranteed by the closed-loop feedback mechanism from the quality assessment module. Integrating the two modules yields accurate, fast, and practical acquisition guidance and diagnostic assistance for patients with suspected respiratory conditions at the point-of-care. Using more than 25,000 ultrasound images from 37 COVID-19-positive patients scanned at two hospitals, plus 12 control cases, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using the proposed machine learning approach. We report an accuracy of 86% when classifying between sufficient and insufficient quality images by the quality assessment module. For data of sufficient quality, the mean classification accuracy in detecting COVID-19-positive cases was 95% on five holdout test data sets, unseen during the training of any networks within the proposed system.
The spinal cord is frequently affected by atrophy and/or lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Segmentation of the spinal cord and lesions from MRI data provides measures of damage, which are key criteria for the diagnosis, prognosis, and longitudinal monitoring in MS. Automating this operation eliminates inter-rater variability and increases the efficiency of large-throughput analysis pipelines. Robust and reliable segmentation across multi-site spinal cord data is challenging because of the large variability related to acquisition parameters and image artifacts. The goal of this study was to develop a fully-automatic framework, robust to variability in both image parameters and clinical condition, for segmentation of the spinal cord and intramedullary MS lesions from conventional MRI data. Scans of 1,042 subjects (459 healthy controls, 471 MS patients, and 112 with other spinal pathologies) were included in this multi-site study (n=30). Data spanned three contrasts (T1-, T2-, and T2*-weighted) for a total of 1,943 volumes. The proposed cord and lesion automatic segmentation approach is based on a sequence of two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). To deal with the very small proportion of spinal cord and/or lesion voxels compared to the rest of the volume, a first CNN with 2D dilated convolutions detects the spinal cord centerline, followed by a second CNN with 3D convolutions that segments the spinal cord and/or lesions. When compared against manual segmentation, our CNN-based approach showed a median Dice of 95% vs. 88% for PropSeg, a state-of-the-art spinal cord segmentation method. Regarding lesion segmentation on MS data, our framework provided a Dice of 60%, a relative volume difference of -15%, and a lesion-wise detection sensitivity and precision of 83% and 77%, respectively. The proposed framework is open-source and readily available in the Spinal Cord Toolbox.