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ArXiv Preprint

Coronary artery disease (CAD) has posed a leading threat to the lives of cardiovascular disease patients worldwide for a long time. Therefore, automated diagnosis of CAD has indispensable significance in clinical medicine. However, the complexity of coronary artery plaques that cause CAD makes the automatic detection of coronary artery stenosis in Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) a difficult task. In this paper, we propose a Transformer network (TR-Net) for the automatic detection of significant stenosis (i.e. luminal narrowing > 50%) while practically completing the computer-assisted diagnosis of CAD. The proposed TR-Net introduces a novel Transformer, and tightly combines convolutional layers and Transformer encoders, allowing their advantages to be demonstrated in the task. By analyzing semantic information sequences, TR-Net can fully understand the relationship between image information in each position of a multiplanar reformatted (MPR) image, and accurately detect significant stenosis based on both local and global information. We evaluate our TR-Net on a dataset of 76 patients from different patients annotated by experienced radiologists. Experimental results illustrate that our TR-Net has achieved better results in ACC (0.92), Spec (0.96), PPV (0.84), F1 (0.79) and MCC (0.74) indicators compared with the state-of-the-art methods. The source code is publicly available from the link (https://github.com/XinghuaMa/TR-Net).

Xinghua Ma, Gongning Luo, Wei Wang, Kuanquan Wang

2021-07-07