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Predicting Osteoarthritis Progression in Radiographs via Unsupervised Representation Learning

by   Tianyu Han, et al.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder affecting substantial proportions of the global population, primarily the elderly. Despite its individual and socioeconomic burden, the onset and progression of OA can still not be reliably predicted. Aiming to fill this diagnostic gap, we introduce an unsupervised learning scheme based on generative models to predict the future development of OA based on knee joint radiographs. Using longitudinal data from osteoarthritis studies, we explore the latent temporal trajectory to predict a patient's future radiographs up to the eight-year follow-up visit. Our model predicts the risk of progression towards OA and surpasses its supervised counterpart whose input was provided by seven experienced radiologists. With the support of the model, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value increased significantly from 42.1 72.3 while without such support, radiologists performed only slightly better than random guessing. Our predictive model improves predictions on OA onset and progression, despite requiring no human annotation in the training phase.


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