Domain Adaptation (DA) is important for deep learning-based medical image segmentation models to deal with testing images from a new target domain. As the source-domain data are usually unavailable when a trained model is deployed at a new center, Source-Free Domain Adaptation (SFDA) is appealing for data and annotation-efficient adaptation to the target domain. However, existing SFDA methods have a limited performance due to lack of sufficient supervision with source-domain images unavailable and target-domain images unlabeled. We propose a novel Uncertainty-aware Pseudo Label guided (UPL) SFDA method for medical image segmentation. Specifically, we propose Target Domain Growing (TDG) to enhance the diversity of predictions in the target domain by duplicating the pre-trained model's prediction head multiple times with perturbations. The different predictions in these duplicated heads are used to obtain pseudo labels for unlabeled target-domain images and their uncertainty to identify reliable pseudo labels. We also propose a Twice Forward pass Supervision (TFS) strategy that uses reliable pseudo labels obtained in one forward pass to supervise predictions in the next forward pass. The adaptation is further regularized by a mean prediction-based entropy minimization term that encourages confident and consistent results in different prediction heads. UPL-SFDA was validated with a multi-site heart MRI segmentation dataset, a cross-modality fetal brain segmentation dataset, and a 3D fetal tissue segmentation dataset. It improved the average Dice by 5.54, 5.01 and 6.89 percentage points for the three tasks compared with the baseline, respectively, and outperformed several state-of-the-art SFDA methods.
The automatic lung lobe segmentation algorithm is of great significance for the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, however, which has great challenges due to the incompleteness of pulmonary fissures in lung CT images and the large variability of pathological features. Therefore, we propose a new automatic lung lobe segmentation framework, in which we urge the model to pay attention to the area around the pulmonary fissure during the training process, which is realized by a task-specific loss function. In addition, we introduce an end-to-end pulmonary fissure generation method in the auxiliary pulmonary fissure segmentation task, without any additional network branch. Finally, we propose a registration-based loss function to alleviate the convergence difficulty of the Dice loss supervised pulmonary fissure segmentation task. We achieve 97.83% and 94.75% dice scores on our private dataset STLB and public LUNA16 dataset respectively.
Graph Representation Learning (GRL) is an influential methodology, enabling a more profound understanding of graph-structured data and aiding graph clustering, a critical task across various domains. The recent incursion of attention mechanisms, originally an artifact of Natural Language Processing (NLP), into the realm of graph learning has spearheaded a notable shift in research trends. Consequently, Graph Attention Networks (GATs) and Graph Attention Auto-Encoders have emerged as preferred tools for graph clustering tasks. Yet, these methods primarily employ a local attention mechanism, thereby curbing their capacity to apprehend the intricate global dependencies between nodes within graphs. Addressing these impediments, this study introduces an innovative method known as the Graph Transformer Auto-Encoder for Graph Clustering (GTAGC). By melding the Graph Auto-Encoder with the Graph Transformer, GTAGC is adept at capturing global dependencies between nodes. This integration amplifies the graph representation and surmounts the constraints posed by the local attention mechanism. The architecture of GTAGC encompasses graph embedding, integration of the Graph Transformer within the autoencoder structure, and a clustering component. It strategically alternates between graph embedding and clustering, thereby tailoring the Graph Transformer for clustering tasks, whilst preserving the graph's global structural information. Through extensive experimentation on diverse benchmark datasets, GTAGC has exhibited superior performance against existing state-of-the-art graph clustering methodologies. This pioneering approach represents a novel contribution to the field of graph clustering, paving the way for promising avenues in future research.
Generalization to previously unseen images with potential domain shifts and different styles is essential for clinically applicable medical image segmentation, and the ability to disentangle domain-specific and domain-invariant features is key for achieving Domain Generalization (DG). However, existing DG methods can hardly achieve effective disentanglement to get high generalizability. To deal with this problem, we propose an efficient Contrastive Domain Disentanglement and Style Augmentation (CDDSA) framework for generalizable medical image segmentation. First, a disentangle network is proposed to decompose an image into a domain-invariant anatomical representation and a domain-specific style code, where the former is sent to a segmentation model that is not affected by the domain shift, and the disentangle network is regularized by a decoder that combines the anatomical and style codes to reconstruct the input image. Second, to achieve better disentanglement, a contrastive loss is proposed to encourage the style codes from the same domain and different domains to be compact and divergent, respectively. Thirdly, to further improve generalizability, we propose a style augmentation method based on the disentanglement representation to synthesize images in various unseen styles with shared anatomical structures. Our method was validated on a public multi-site fundus image dataset for optic cup and disc segmentation and an in-house multi-site Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Magnetic Resonance Image (NPC-MRI) dataset for nasopharynx Gross Tumor Volume (GTVnx) segmentation. Experimental results showed that the proposed CDDSA achieved remarkable generalizability across different domains, and it outperformed several state-of-the-art methods in domain-generalizable segmentation.
Automatic and accurate lung nodule detection from 3D Computed Tomography scans plays a vital role in efficient lung cancer screening. Despite the state-of-the-art performance obtained by recent anchor-based detectors using Convolutional Neural Networks, they require predetermined anchor parameters such as the size, number, and aspect ratio of anchors, and have limited robustness when dealing with lung nodules with a massive variety of sizes. We propose a 3D sphere representation-based center-points matching detection network (SCPM-Net) that is anchor-free and automatically predicts the position, radius, and offset of nodules without the manual design of nodule/anchor parameters. The SCPM-Net consists of two novel pillars: sphere representation and center points matching. To mimic the nodule annotation in clinical practice, we replace the conventional bounding box with the newly proposed bounding sphere. A compatible sphere-based intersection over-union loss function is introduced to train the lung nodule detection network stably and efficiently.We empower the network anchor-free by designing a positive center-points selection and matching (CPM) process, which naturally discards pre-determined anchor boxes. An online hard example mining and re-focal loss subsequently enable the CPM process more robust, resulting in more accurate point assignment and the mitigation of class imbalance. In addition, to better capture spatial information and 3D context for the detection, we propose to fuse multi-level spatial coordinate maps with the feature extractor and combine them with 3D squeeze-and-excitation attention modules. Experimental results on the LUNA16 dataset showed that our proposed SCPM-Net framework achieves superior performance compared with existing used anchor-based and anchor-free methods for lung nodule detection.
Gross Target Volume (GTV) segmentation plays an irreplaceable role in radiotherapy planning for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC). Despite that convolutional neural networks (CNN) have achieved good performance for this task, they rely on a large set of labeled images for training, which is expensive and time-consuming to acquire. Recently, semi-supervised methods that learn from a small set of labeled images with a large set of unlabeled images have shown potential for dealing with this problem, but it is still challenging to train a high-performance model with the limited number of labeled data. In this paper, we propose a novel framework with Uncertainty Rectified Pyramid Consistency (URPC) regularization for semi-supervised NPC GTV segmentation. Concretely, we extend a backbone segmentation network to produce pyramid predictions at different scales, the pyramid predictions network (PPNet) was supervised by the ground truth of labeled images and a multi-scale consistency loss for unlabeled images, motivated by the fact that prediction at different scales for the same input should be similar and consistent. However, due to the different resolution of these predictions, encouraging them to be consistent at each pixel directly is not robust and may bring much noise and lead to a performance drop. To deal with this dilemma, we further design a novel uncertainty rectifying module to enable the framework to gradually learn from meaningful and reliable consensual regions at different scales. Extensive experiments on our collected NPC dataset with 258 volumes show that our method can largely improve performance by incorporating the unlabeled data, and this framework achieves a promising result compared with existing semi-supervised methods, which achieves 81.22% of mean DSC and 1.88 voxels of mean ASD on the test set, where the only 20% of the training set were annotated.
Deep learning-based semi-supervised learning (SSL) algorithms have led to promising results in medical images segmentation and can alleviate doctors' expensive annotations by leveraging unlabeled data. However, most of the existing SSL algorithms in literature tend to regularize the model training by perturbing networks and/or data. Observing that multi/dual-task learning attends to various levels of information which have inherent prediction perturbation, we ask the question in this work: can we explicitly build task-level regularization rather than implicitly constructing networks- and/or data-level perturbation-and-transformation for SSL? To answer this question, we propose a novel dual-task-consistency semi-supervised framework for the first time. Concretely, we use a dual-task deep network that jointly predicts a pixel-wise segmentation map and a geometry-aware level set representation of the target. The level set representation is converted to an approximated segmentation map through a differentiable task transform layer. Simultaneously, we introduce a dual-task consistency regularization between the level set-derived segmentation maps and directly predicted segmentation maps for both labeled and unlabeled data. Extensive experiments on two public datasets show that our method can largely improve the performance by incorporating the unlabeled data. Meanwhile, our framework outperforms the state-of-the-art semi-supervised medical image segmentation methods. Code is available at: https://github.com/Luoxd1996/DTC