Deep Learning from Dual-Energy Information for Whole-Heart Segmentation in Dual-Energy and Single-Energy Non-Contrast-Enhanced Cardiac CT

08/10/2020
by   Steffen Bruns, et al.
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Deep learning-based whole-heart segmentation in coronary CT angiography (CCTA) allows the extraction of quantitative imaging measures for cardiovascular risk prediction. Automatic extraction of these measures in patients undergoing only non-contrast-enhanced CT (NCCT) scanning would be valuable. In this work, we leverage information provided by a dual-layer detector CT scanner to obtain a reference standard in virtual non-contrast (VNC) CT images mimicking NCCT images, and train a 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) for the segmentation of VNC as well as NCCT images. Contrast-enhanced acquisitions on a dual-layer detector CT scanner were reconstructed into a CCTA and a perfectly aligned VNC image. In each CCTA image, manual reference segmentations of the left ventricular (LV) myocardium, LV cavity, right ventricle, left atrium, right atrium, ascending aorta, and pulmonary artery trunk were obtained and propagated to the corresponding VNC image. These VNC images and reference segmentations were used to train 3D CNNs for automatic segmentation in either VNC images or NCCT images. Automatic segmentations in VNC images showed good agreement with reference segmentations, with an average Dice similarity coefficient of 0.897 ±0.034 and an average symmetric surface distance of 1.42 ±0.45 mm. Volume differences [95 confidence interval] between automatic NCCT and reference CCTA segmentations were -19 [-67; 30] mL for LV myocardium, -25 [-78; 29] mL for LV cavity, -29 [-73; 14] mL for right ventricle, -20 [-62; 21] mL for left atrium, and -19 [-73; 34] mL for right atrium, respectively. In 214 (74 independent multi-vendor multi-center set, two observers agreed that the automatic segmentation was mostly accurate or better. This method might enable quantification of additional cardiac measures from NCCT images for improved cardiovascular risk prediction.

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