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In Artificial intelligence in medicine ; h5-index 34.0

Segmentation of specific brain tissue from MRI volumes is of great significance for brain disease diagnosis, progression assessment, and monitoring of neurological conditions. Manual segmentation is time-consuming, laborious, and subjective, which significantly amplifies the need for automated processes. Over the last decades, the active development in the field of deep learning, especially convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and the associated performance improvements have increased the demand for the application of CNN-based methods to provide consistent measurements and quantitative analyses. In this paper, we present an efficient deep learning approach for the segmentation of brain tissue. More specifically, we address the problem of segmentation of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) in preterm neonates. To this end, we propose a CNN-based pipeline comprised of slice-selection modules and a multi-view segmentation model, which exploits the 3D information contained in the MRI volumes to improve segmentation performance. One special feature of the proposed method is its ability to identify one desired slice out of the whole image volume, which is relevant for pediatricians in terms of prognosis. To increase computational efficiency, we apply a strategy that automatically reduces the information contained in the MRI volumes to its relevant parts. Finally, we conduct an expert rating alongside standard evaluation metrics, such as dice score, to evaluate the performance of the proposed framework. We demonstrate the benefit of the multi-view technique by comparing it with its single-view counterparts, which reveals that the proposed method strikes a good balance between exploiting the available image information and reducing the required computing power compared to 3D segmentation networks. Standard evaluation metrics as, well as expert-based assessment, confirm the good performance of the proposed framework, with the latter being more relevant in terms of clinical applicability. We demonstrate that the proposed deep learning pipeline can compete with the experts in terms of accuracy. To prove the generalisability of the proposed method, we additionally assess our deep learning pipeline to data from the Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP).

Gruber Nadja, Galijasevic Malik, Regodic Milovan, Grams Astrid Ellen, Siedentopf Christian, Steiger Ruth, Hammerl Marlene, Haltmeier Markus, Gizewski Elke Ruth, Janjic Tanja


Deep neural networks, Posterior limb of internal capsule, Premature neonates, Segmentation