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In International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery

PURPOSE : Fetoscopic laser photocoagulation is a minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). By using a lens/fibre-optic scope, inserted into the amniotic cavity, the abnormal placental vascular anastomoses are identified and ablated to regulate blood flow to both fetuses. Limited field-of-view, occlusions due to fetus presence and low visibility make it difficult to identify all vascular anastomoses. Automatic computer-assisted techniques may provide better understanding of the anatomical structure during surgery for risk-free laser photocoagulation and may facilitate in improving mosaics from fetoscopic videos.

METHODS : We propose FetNet, a combined convolutional neural network (CNN) and long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network architecture for the spatio-temporal identification of fetoscopic events. We adapt an existing CNN architecture for spatial feature extraction and integrated it with the LSTM network for end-to-end spatio-temporal inference. We introduce differential learning rates during the model training to effectively utilising the pre-trained CNN weights. This may support computer-assisted interventions (CAI) during fetoscopic laser photocoagulation.

RESULTS : We perform quantitative evaluation of our method using 7 in vivo fetoscopic videos captured from different human TTTS cases. The total duration of these videos was 5551 s (138,780 frames). To test the robustness of the proposed approach, we perform 7-fold cross-validation where each video is treated as a hold-out or test set and training is performed using the remaining videos.

CONCLUSION : FetNet achieved superior performance compared to the existing CNN-based methods and provided improved inference because of the spatio-temporal information modelling. Online testing of FetNet, using a Tesla V100-DGXS-32GB GPU, achieved a frame rate of 114 fps. These results show that our method could potentially provide a real-time solution for CAI and automating occlusion and photocoagulation identification during fetoscopic procedures.

Bano Sophia, Vasconcelos Francisco, Vander Poorten Emmanuel, Vercauteren Tom, Ourselin Sebastien, Deprest Jan, Stoyanov Danail

2020-Apr-29

Computer assisted interventions (CAI), Deep learning, Fetoscopy, Surgical vision, Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), Video segmentation