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In European radiology ; h5-index 62.0

OBJECTIVES : The goal of the present study was to classify the most common types of plain radiographs using a neural network and to validate the network's performance on internal and external data. Such a network could help improve various radiological workflows.

METHODS : All radiographs from the year 2017 (n = 71,274) acquired at our institution were retrieved from the PACS. The 30 largest categories (n = 58,219, 81.7% of all radiographs performed in 2017) were used to develop and validate a neural network (MobileNet v1.0) using transfer learning. Image categories were extracted from DICOM metadata (study and image description) and mapped to the WHO manual of diagnostic imaging. As an independent, external validation set, we used images from other institutions that had been stored in our PACS (n = 5324).

RESULTS : In the internal validation, the overall accuracy of the model was 90.3% (95%CI: 89.2-91.3%), whereas, for the external validation set, the overall accuracy was 94.0% (95%CI: 93.3-94.6%).

CONCLUSIONS : Using data from one single institution, we were able to classify the most common categories of radiographs with a neural network. The network showed good generalizability on the external validation set and could be used to automatically organize a PACS, preselect radiographs so that they can be routed to more specialized networks for abnormality detection or help with other parts of the radiological workflow (e.g., automated hanging protocols; check if ordered image and performed image are the same). The final AI algorithm is publicly available for evaluation and extension.

KEY POINTS : • Data from one single institution can be used to train a neural network for the correct detection of the 30 most common categories of plain radiographs. • The trained model achieved a high accuracy for the majority of categories and showed good generalizability to images from other institutions. • The neural network is made publicly available and can be used to automatically organize a PACS or to preselect radiographs so that they can be routed to more specialized neural networks for abnormality detection.

Dratsch Thomas, Korenkov Michael, Zopfs David, Brodehl Sebastian, Baessler Bettina, Giese Daniel, Brinkmann Sebastian, Maintz David, Pinto Dos Santos Daniel


Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Radiography