A regression framework to head-circumference delineation from US fetal images

10/24/2020
by   efrontoni, et al.
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Background and Objectives Measuring head-circumference (HC) length from ultrasound inter-operator variability in HC length measuring, several computer-assisted solutions have been proposed in the years. Recently, a large number of deep-learning approaches is addressing the problem of HC delineation through the segmentation of the whole fetal head via convolutional neural networks (CNNs). Since the task is a edge-delineation problem, we propose a different strategy based on regression CNNs. Methods The proposed framework consists of a region-proposal CNN for head localization and centering, and a regression CNN for accurately delineate the HC. The first CNN is trained exploiting transfer learning, while we propose a training strategy for the regression CNN based on distance fields. Results The framework was tested on the HC18 Challenge dataset, which consists of 999 training and 335 testing images. A mean absolute difference of 1.90 (± 1.76) mm and a Dice similarity coefficient of 97.75 (± 1.32) % were achieved, overcoming approaches in the literature. Conclusions The experimental results showed the effectiveness of the proposed framework, proving its potential in supporting clinicians during the clinical practice.

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