Detection and diagnosis of colitis on computed tomography using deep convolutional neural networks

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Abstract

Purpose

Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon that is frequently associated with infection and allergic reactions. In this paper, we propose deep convolutional neural networks methods for lesion-level colitis detection and a support vector machine (SVM) classifier for patient-level colitis diagnosis on routine abdominal CT scans.

Methods

The recently developed Faster Region-based Convolutional Neural Network (Faster RCNN) is utilized for lesion-level colitis detection. For each 2D slice, rectangular region proposals are generated by region proposal networks (RPN). Then, each region proposal is jointly classified and refined by a softmax classifier and bounding-box regressor. Two convolutional neural networks, eight layers of ZF net and 16 layers of VGG net are compared for colitis detection. Finally, for each patient, the detections on all 2D slices are collected and a SVM classifier is applied to develop a patient-level diagnosis. We trained and evaluated our method with 80 colitis patients and 80 normal cases using 4 × 4-fold cross validation.

Results

For lesion-level colitis detection, with ZF net, the mean of average precisions (mAP) were 48.7% and 50.9% for RCNN and Faster RCNN, respectively. The detection system achieved sensitivities of 51.4% and 54.0% at two false positives per patient for RCNN and Faster RCNN, respectively. With VGG net, Faster RCNN increased the mAP to 56.9% and increased the sensitivity to 58.4% at two false positive per patient.

Results

For patient-level colitis diagnosis, with ZF net, the average areas under the ROC curve (AUC) were 0.978 ± 0.009 and 0.984 ± 0.008 for RCNN and Faster RCNN method, respectively. The difference was not statistically significant with P = 0.18. At the optimal operating point, the RCNN method correctly identified 90.4% (72.3/80) of the colitis patients and 94.0% (75.2/80) of normal cases. The sensitivity improved to 91.6% (73.3/80) and the specificity improved to 95.0% (76.0/80) for the Faster RCNN method. With VGG net, Faster RCNN increased the AUC to 0.986 ± 0.007 and increased the diagnosis sensitivity to 93.7% (75.0/80) and specificity was unchanged at 95.0% (76.0/80).

Conclusion

Colitis detection and diagnosis by deep convolutional neural networks is accurate and promising for future clinical application.

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