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Deep learning-based detection of intravenous contrast in computed tomography scans

10/16/2021
by   Zezhong Ye, et al.
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Purpose: Identifying intravenous (IV) contrast use within CT scans is a key component of data curation for model development and testing. Currently, IV contrast is poorly documented in imaging metadata and necessitates manual correction and annotation by clinician experts, presenting a major barrier to imaging analyses and algorithm deployment. We sought to develop and validate a convolutional neural network (CNN)-based deep learning (DL) platform to identify IV contrast within CT scans. Methods: For model development and evaluation, we used independent datasets of CT scans of head, neck (HN) and lung cancer patients, totaling 133,480 axial 2D scan slices from 1,979 CT scans manually annotated for contrast presence by clinical experts. Five different DL models were adopted and trained in HN training datasets for slice-level contrast detection. Model performances were evaluated on a hold-out set and on an independent validation set from another institution. DL models was then fine-tuned on chest CT data and externally validated on a separate chest CT dataset. Results: Initial DICOM metadata tags for IV contrast were missing or erroneous in 1,496 scans (75.6 best overall detection performance. For HN scans, AUC was 0.996 in the internal validation set (n = 216) and 1.0 in the external validation set (n = 595). The fine-tuned model on chest CTs yielded an AUC: 1.0 for the internal validation set (n = 53), and AUC: 0.980 for the external validation set (n = 402). Conclusion: The DL model could accurately detect IV contrast in both HN and chest CT scans with near-perfect performance.

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