Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) has emerged as a valuable diagnostic tool for cardiac diseases. However, a limitation of CMR is its slow imaging speed, which causes patient discomfort and introduces artifacts in the images. There has been growing interest in deep learning-based CMR imaging algorithms that can reconstruct high-quality images from highly under-sampled k-space data. However, the development of deep learning methods requires large training datasets, which have not been publicly available for CMR. To address this gap, we released a dataset that includes multi-contrast, multi-view, multi-slice and multi-coil CMR imaging data from 300 subjects. Imaging studies include cardiac cine and mapping sequences. Manual segmentations of the myocardium and chambers of all the subjects are also provided within the dataset. Scripts of state-of-the-art reconstruction algorithms were also provided as a point of reference. Our aim is to facilitate the advancement of state-of-the-art CMR image reconstruction by introducing standardized evaluation criteria and making the dataset freely accessible to the research community. Researchers can access the dataset at https://www.synapse.org/#!Synapse:syn51471091/wiki/.
Data augmentation has become a de facto component of deep learning-based medical image segmentation methods. Most data augmentation techniques used in medical imaging focus on spatial and intensity transformations to improve the diversity of training images. They are often designed at the image level, augmenting the full image, and do not pay attention to specific abnormalities within the image. Here, we present LesionMix, a novel and simple lesion-aware data augmentation method. It performs augmentation at the lesion level, increasing the diversity of lesion shape, location, intensity and load distribution, and allowing both lesion populating and inpainting. Experiments on different modalities and different lesion datasets, including four brain MR lesion datasets and one liver CT lesion dataset, demonstrate that LesionMix achieves promising performance in lesion image segmentation, outperforming several recent Mix-based data augmentation methods. The code will be released at https://github.com/dogabasaran/lesionmix.
Learning a medical image segmentation model is an inherently ambiguous task, as uncertainties exist in both images (noise) and manual annotations (human errors and bias) used for model training. To build a trustworthy image segmentation model, it is important to not just evaluate its performance but also estimate the uncertainty of the model prediction. Most state-of-the-art image segmentation networks adopt a hierarchical encoder architecture, extracting image features at multiple resolution levels from fine to coarse. In this work, we leverage this hierarchical image representation and propose a simple yet effective method for estimating uncertainties at multiple levels. The multi-level uncertainties are modelled via the skip-connection module and then sampled to generate an uncertainty map for the predicted image segmentation. We demonstrate that a deep learning segmentation network such as U-net, when implemented with such hierarchical uncertainty estimation module, can achieve a high segmentation performance, while at the same time provide meaningful uncertainty maps that can be used for out-of-distribution detection.
Medical vision-language models enable co-learning and integrating features from medical imaging and clinical text. However, these models are not easy to train and the latent representation space can be complex. Here we propose a novel way for pre-training and regularising medical vision-language models. The proposed method, named Medical vision-language pre-training with Frozen language models and Latent spAce Geometry optimization (M-FLAG), leverages a frozen language model for training stability and efficiency and introduces a novel orthogonality loss to harmonize the latent space geometry. We demonstrate the potential of the pre-trained model on three downstream tasks: medical image classification, segmentation, and object detection. Extensive experiments across five public datasets demonstrate that M-FLAG significantly outperforms existing medical vision-language pre-training approaches and reduces the number of parameters by 78\%. Notably, M-FLAG achieves outstanding performance on the segmentation task while using only 1\% of the RSNA dataset, even outperforming ImageNet pre-trained models that have been fine-tuned using 100\% of the data.
Two key questions in cardiac image analysis are to assess the anatomy and motion of the heart from images; and to understand how they are associated with non-imaging clinical factors such as gender, age and diseases. While the first question can often be addressed by image segmentation and motion tracking algorithms, our capability to model and to answer the second question is still limited. In this work, we propose a novel conditional generative model to describe the 4D spatio-temporal anatomy of the heart and its interaction with non-imaging clinical factors. The clinical factors are integrated as the conditions of the generative modelling, which allows us to investigate how these factors influence the cardiac anatomy. We evaluate the model performance in mainly two tasks, anatomical sequence completion and sequence generation. The model achieves a high performance in anatomical sequence completion, comparable to or outperforming other state-of-the-art generative models. In terms of sequence generation, given clinical conditions, the model can generate realistic synthetic 4D sequential anatomies that share similar distributions with the real data.
The quality of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is susceptible to respiratory motion artifacts. The model robustness of automated segmentation techniques in face of real-world respiratory motion artifacts is unclear. This manuscript describes the design of extreme cardiac MRI analysis challenge under respiratory motion (CMRxMotion Challenge). The challenge aims to establish a public benchmark dataset to assess the effects of respiratory motion on image quality and examine the robustness of segmentation models. The challenge recruited 40 healthy volunteers to perform different breath-hold behaviors during one imaging visit, obtaining paired cine imaging with artifacts. Radiologists assessed the image quality and annotated the level of respiratory motion artifacts. For those images with diagnostic quality, radiologists further segmented the left ventricle, left ventricle myocardium and right ventricle. The images of training set (20 volunteers) along with the annotations are released to the challenge participants, to develop an automated image quality assessment model (Task 1) and an automated segmentation model (Task 2). The images of validation set (5 volunteers) are released to the challenge participants but the annotations are withheld for online evaluation of submitted predictions. Both the images and annotations of the test set (15 volunteers) were withheld and only used for offline evaluation of submitted containerized dockers. The image quality assessment task is quantitatively evaluated by the Cohen's kappa statistics and the segmentation task is evaluated by the Dice scores and Hausdorff distances.
3D motion estimation from cine cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images is important for the assessment of cardiac function and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. Most of the previous methods focus on estimating pixel-/voxel-wise motion fields in the full image space, which ignore the fact that motion estimation is mainly relevant and useful within the object of interest, e.g., the heart. In this work, we model the heart as a 3D geometric mesh and propose a novel deep learning-based method that can estimate 3D motion of the heart mesh from 2D short- and long-axis CMR images. By developing a differentiable mesh-to-image rasterizer, the method is able to leverage the anatomical shape information from 2D multi-view CMR images for 3D motion estimation. The differentiability of the rasterizer enables us to train the method end-to-end. One advantage of the proposed method is that by tracking the motion of each vertex, it is able to keep the vertex correspondence of 3D meshes between time frames, which is important for quantitative assessment of the cardiac function on the mesh. We evaluate the proposed method on CMR images acquired from the UK Biobank study. Experimental results show that the proposed method quantitatively and qualitatively outperforms both conventional and learning-based cardiac motion tracking methods.
Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death globally, is an age-related disease. Understanding the morphological and functional changes of the heart during ageing is a key scientific question, the answer to which will help us define important risk factors of cardiovascular disease and monitor disease progression. In this work, we propose a novel conditional generative model to describe the changes of 3D anatomy of the heart during ageing. The proposed model is flexible and allows integration of multiple clinical factors (e.g. age, gender) into the generating process. We train the model on a large-scale cross-sectional dataset of cardiac anatomies and evaluate on both cross-sectional and longitudinal datasets. The model demonstrates excellent performance in predicting the longitudinal evolution of the ageing heart and modelling its data distribution.
Probability calibration for deep models is highly desirable in safety-critical applications such as medical imaging. It makes output probabilities of deep networks interpretable, by aligning prediction probabilities with the actual accuracy in test data. In image segmentation, well-calibrated probabilities allow radiologists to identify regions where model-predicted segmentations are unreliable. These unreliable predictions often occur to out-of-domain (OOD) images that are caused by imaging artifacts or unseen imaging protocols. Unfortunately, most previous calibration methods for image segmentation perform sub-optimally on OOD images. To reduce the calibration error when confronted with OOD images, we propose a novel post-hoc calibration model. Our model leverages the pixel susceptibility against perturbations at the local level, and the shape prior information at the global level. The model is tested on cardiac MRI segmentation datasets that contain unseen imaging artifacts and images from an unseen imaging protocol. We demonstrate reduced calibration errors compared with the state-of-the-art calibration algorithm.
Understanding the intensity characteristics of brain lesions is key for defining image-based biomarkers in neurological studies and for predicting disease burden and outcome. In this work, we present a novel foreground-based generative method for modelling the local lesion characteristics that can both generate synthetic lesions on healthy images and synthesize subject-specific pseudo-healthy images from pathological images. Furthermore, the proposed method can be used as a data augmentation module to generate synthetic images for training brain image segmentation networks. Experiments on multiple sclerosis (MS) brain images acquired on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrate that the proposed method can generate highly realistic pseudo-healthy and pseudo-pathological brain images. Data augmentation using the synthetic images improves the brain image segmentation performance compared to traditional data augmentation methods as well as a recent lesion-aware data augmentation technique, CarveMix. The code will be released at https://github.com/dogabasaran/lesion-synthesis.