Automatic segmentation method of pelvic floor levator hiatus in ultrasound using a self-normalising neural network

12/18/2017 ∙ by Ester Bonmati, et al. ∙ 0

Segmentation of the levator hiatus in ultrasound allows to extract biometrics which are of importance for pelvic floor disorder assessment. In this work, we present a fully automatic method using a convolutional neural network (CNN) to outline the levator hiatus in a 2D image extracted from a 3D ultrasound volume. In particular, our method uses a recently developed scaled exponential linear unit (SELU) as a nonlinear self-normalising activation function, which for the first time has been applied in medical imaging with CNN. SELU has important advantages such as being parameter-free and mini-batch independent, which may help to overcome memory constraints during training. A dataset with 91 images from 35 patients during Valsalva, contraction and rest, all labelled by three operators, is used for training and evaluation in a leave-one-patient-out cross-validation. Results show a median Dice similarity coefficient of 0.90 with an interquartile range of 0.08, with equivalent performance to the three operators (with a Williams' index of 1.03), and outperforming a U-Net architecture without the need for batch normalisation. We conclude that the proposed fully automatic method achieved equivalent accuracy in segmenting the pelvic floor levator hiatus compared to a previous semi-automatic approach.

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