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In European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging ; h5-index 66.0

PURPOSE : Epilepsy is one of the most disabling neurological disorders, which affects all age groups and often results in severe consequences. Since misdiagnoses are common, many pediatric patients fail to receive the correct treatment. Recently, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET) imaging has been used for the evaluation of pediatric epilepsy. However, the epileptic focus is very difficult to be identified by visual assessment since it may present either hypo- or hyper-metabolic abnormality with unclear boundary. This study aimed to develop a novel symmetricity-driven deep learning framework of PET imaging for the identification of epileptic foci in pediatric patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

METHODS : We retrospectively included 201 pediatric patients with TLE and 24 age-matched controls who underwent 18F-FDG PET-CT studies. 18F-FDG PET images were quantitatively investigated using 386 symmetricity features, and a pair-of-cube (PoC)-based Siamese convolutional neural network (CNN) was proposed for precise localization of epileptic focus, and then metabolic abnormality level of the predicted focus was calculated automatically by asymmetric index (AI). Performances of the proposed framework were compared with visual assessment, statistical parametric mapping (SPM) software, and Jensen-Shannon divergence-based logistic regression (JS-LR) analysis.

RESULTS : The proposed deep learning framework could detect the epileptic foci accurately with the dice coefficient of 0.51, which was significantly higher than that of SPM (0.24, P < 0.01) and significantly (or marginally) higher than that of visual assessment (0.31-0.44, P = 0.005-0.27). The area under the curve (AUC) of the PoC classification was higher than that of the JS-LR (0.93 vs. 0.72). The metabolic level detection accuracy of the proposed method was significantly higher than that of visual assessment blinded or unblinded to clinical information (90% vs. 56% or 68%, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION : The proposed deep learning framework for 18F-FDG PET imaging could identify epileptic foci accurately and efficiently, which might be applied as a computer-assisted approach for the future diagnosis of epilepsy patients.

TRIAL REGISTRATION : NCT04169581. Registered November 13, 2019 Public site: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04169581.

Zhang Qinming, Liao Yi, Wang Xiawan, Zhang Teng, Feng Jianhua, Deng Jianing, Shi Kexin, Chen Lin, Feng Liu, Ma Mindi, Xue Le, Hou Haifeng, Dou Xiaofeng, Yu Congcong, Ren Lei, Ding Yao, Chen Yufei, Wu Shuang, Chen Zexin, Zhang Hong, Zhuo Cheng, Tian Mei

2021-Jan-09

Deep learning, Epilepsy, Glucose metabolism, Pediatrics, Positron emission tomography (PET)