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A Transfer Learning Approach for Automated Segmentation of Prostate Whole Gland and Transition Zone in Diffusion Weighted MRI

by   Saman Motamed, et al.

The segmentation of prostate whole gland and transition zone in Diffusion Weighted MRI (DWI) are the first step in designing computer-aided detection algorithms for prostate cancer. However, variations in MRI acquisition parameters and scanner manufacturing result in different appearances of prostate tissue in the images. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) which have shown to be successful in various medical image analysis tasks including segmentation are typically sensitive to the variations in imaging parameters. This sensitivity leads to poor segmentation performance of CNNs trained on a source cohort and tested on a target cohort from a different scanner and hence, it limits the applicability of CNNs for cross-cohort training and testing. Contouring prostate whole gland and transition zone in DWI images are time-consuming and expensive. Thus, it is important to enable CNNs pretrained on images of source domain, to segment images of target domain with minimum requirement for manual segmentation of images from the target domain. In this work, we propose a transfer learning method based on a modified U-net architecture and loss function, for segmentation of prostate whole gland and transition zone in DWIs using a CNN pretrained on a source dataset and tested on the target dataset. We explore the effect of the size of subset of target dataset used for fine-tuning the pre-trained CNN on the overall segmentation accuracy. Our results show that with a fine-tuning data as few as 30 patients from the target domain, the proposed transfer learning-based algorithm can reach dice score coefficient of 0.80 for both prostate whole gland and transition zone segmentation. Using a fine-tuning data of 115 patients from the target domain, dice score coefficient of 0.85 and 0.84 are achieved for segmentation of whole gland and transition zone, respectively, in the target domain.


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