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In Insights into imaging

BACKGROUND : Accurate segmentation of pelvic bones is an initial step to achieve accurate detection and localisation of pelvic bone metastases. This study presents a deep learning-based approach for automated segmentation of normal pelvic bony structures in multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) using a 3D convolutional neural network (CNN).

METHODS : This retrospective study included 264 pelvic mpMRI data obtained between 2018 and 2019. The manual annotations of pelvic bony structures (which included lumbar vertebra, sacrococcyx, ilium, acetabulum, femoral head, femoral neck, ischium, and pubis) on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) images were used to create reference standards. A 3D U-Net CNN was employed for automatic pelvic bone segmentation. Additionally, 60 mpMRI data from 2020 were included and used to evaluate the model externally.

RESULTS : The CNN achieved a high Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) average in both testing (0.80 [DWI images] and 0.85 [ADC images]) and external (0.79 [DWI images] and 0.84 [ADC images]) validation sets. Pelvic bone volumes measured with manual and CNN-predicted segmentations were highly correlated (R2 value of 0.84-0.97) and in close agreement (mean bias of 2.6-4.5 cm3). A SCORE system was designed to qualitatively evaluate the model for which both testing and external validation sets achieved high scores in terms of both qualitative evaluation and concordance between two readers (ICC = 0.904; 95% confidence interval: 0.871-0.929).

CONCLUSIONS : A deep learning-based method can achieve automated pelvic bone segmentation on DWI and ADC images with suitable quantitative and qualitative performance.

Liu Xiang, Han Chao, Wang He, Wu Jingyun, Cui Yingpu, Zhang Xiaodong, Wang Xiaoying


Convolutional neural network, Deep learning, Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, Pelvic bones, Segmentation