Despite its benefits for tumour detection and treatment, the administration of contrast agents in dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) is associated with a range of issues, including their invasiveness, bioaccumulation, and a risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. This study explores the feasibility of producing synthetic contrast enhancements by translating pre-contrast T1-weighted fat-saturated breast MRI to their corresponding first DCE-MRI sequence leveraging the capabilities of a generative adversarial network (GAN). Additionally, we introduce a Scaled Aggregate Measure (SAMe) designed for quantitatively evaluating the quality of synthetic data in a principled manner and serving as a basis for selecting the optimal generative model. We assess the generated DCE-MRI data using quantitative image quality metrics and apply them to the downstream task of 3D breast tumour segmentation. Our results highlight the potential of post-contrast DCE-MRI synthesis in enhancing the robustness of breast tumour segmentation models via data augmentation. Our code is available at https://github.com/RichardObi/pre_post_synthesis.
* Accepted as oral presentation at SPIE Medical Imaging 2024 (Image
The number of international benchmarking competitions is steadily increasing in various fields of machine learning (ML) research and practice. So far, however, little is known about the common practice as well as bottlenecks faced by the community in tackling the research questions posed. To shed light on the status quo of algorithm development in the specific field of biomedical imaging analysis, we designed an international survey that was issued to all participants of challenges conducted in conjunction with the IEEE ISBI 2021 and MICCAI 2021 conferences (80 competitions in total). The survey covered participants' expertise and working environments, their chosen strategies, as well as algorithm characteristics. A median of 72% challenge participants took part in the survey. According to our results, knowledge exchange was the primary incentive (70%) for participation, while the reception of prize money played only a minor role (16%). While a median of 80 working hours was spent on method development, a large portion of participants stated that they did not have enough time for method development (32%). 25% perceived the infrastructure to be a bottleneck. Overall, 94% of all solutions were deep learning-based. Of these, 84% were based on standard architectures. 43% of the respondents reported that the data samples (e.g., images) were too large to be processed at once. This was most commonly addressed by patch-based training (69%), downsampling (37%), and solving 3D analysis tasks as a series of 2D tasks. K-fold cross-validation on the training set was performed by only 37% of the participants and only 50% of the participants performed ensembling based on multiple identical models (61%) or heterogeneous models (39%). 48% of the respondents applied postprocessing steps.
Synthetic data generated by generative models can enhance the performance and capabilities of data-hungry deep learning models in medical imaging. However, there is (1) limited availability of (synthetic) datasets and (2) generative models are complex to train, which hinders their adoption in research and clinical applications. To reduce this entry barrier, we propose medigan, a one-stop shop for pretrained generative models implemented as an open-source framework-agnostic Python library. medigan allows researchers and developers to create, increase, and domain-adapt their training data in just a few lines of code. Guided by design decisions based on gathered end-user requirements, we implement medigan based on modular components for generative model (i) execution, (ii) visualisation, (iii) search & ranking, and (iv) contribution. The library's scalability and design is demonstrated by its growing number of integrated and readily-usable pretrained generative models consisting of 21 models utilising 9 different Generative Adversarial Network architectures trained on 11 datasets from 4 domains, namely, mammography, endoscopy, x-ray, and MRI. Furthermore, 3 applications of medigan are analysed in this work, which include (a) enabling community-wide sharing of restricted data, (b) investigating generative model evaluation metrics, and (c) improving clinical downstream tasks. In (b), extending on common medical image synthesis assessment and reporting standards, we show Fr\'echet Inception Distance variability based on image normalisation and radiology-specific feature extraction.
Domain Adaptation (DA) has recently raised strong interests in the medical imaging community. While a large variety of DA techniques has been proposed for image segmentation, most of these techniques have been validated either on private datasets or on small publicly available datasets. Moreover, these datasets mostly addressed single-class problems. To tackle these limitations, the Cross-Modality Domain Adaptation (crossMoDA) challenge was organised in conjunction with the 24th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2021). CrossMoDA is the first large and multi-class benchmark for unsupervised cross-modality DA. The challenge's goal is to segment two key brain structures involved in the follow-up and treatment planning of vestibular schwannoma (VS): the VS and the cochleas. Currently, the diagnosis and surveillance in patients with VS are performed using contrast-enhanced T1 (ceT1) MRI. However, there is growing interest in using non-contrast sequences such as high-resolution T2 (hrT2) MRI. Therefore, we created an unsupervised cross-modality segmentation benchmark. The training set provides annotated ceT1 (N=105) and unpaired non-annotated hrT2 (N=105). The aim was to automatically perform unilateral VS and bilateral cochlea segmentation on hrT2 as provided in the testing set (N=137). A total of 16 teams submitted their algorithm for the evaluation phase. The level of performance reached by the top-performing teams is strikingly high (best median Dice - VS:88.4%; Cochleas:85.7%) and close to full supervision (median Dice - VS:92.5%; Cochleas:87.7%). All top-performing methods made use of an image-to-image translation approach to transform the source-domain images into pseudo-target-domain images. A segmentation network was then trained using these generated images and the manual annotations provided for the source image.