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In The Journal of arthroplasty ; h5-index 65.0

BACKGROUND : The diagnosis of early osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is challenging due to variability in the surgeon experience level. This study developed an MRI-based deep learning system to detect early ONFH and evaluated its feasibility in the clinic.

METHODS : We retrospectively evaluated clinical MRIs of the hips that were performed in our institution from January 2019 to June 2022, and collected all MRIs diagnosed with early ONFH. An advanced convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained and optimized; then, the diagnostic performance of the CNN was evaluated according to its accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. We also further compared the CNN's performance with that of orthopaedic surgeons.

RESULTS : Overall, 11,061 images were retrospectively included in the present study and were divided into three datasets with ratio 7:2:1. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the CNN model for identifying early ONFH were 0.98, 98.4, 97.6, and 98.6%, respectively. In our review panel, the averaged accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for identifying ONFH were 91.7, 87.0, and 94.1% for attending orthopaedic surgeons; 87.1, 84.0, and 89.3% for resident orthopaedic surgeons; and 97.1, 96.0, and 97.9% for deputy chief orthopaedic surgeons, respectively.

CONCLUSION : The deep learning system showed a comparable performance to that of deputy chief orthopaedic surgeons in identifying early ONFH. The success of deep learning diagnosis of ONFH might be conducive to assisting less-experienced surgeons, especially in large-scale medical imaging screening and community scenarios lacking consulting experts.

Shen Xianyue, Luo Jia, Tang Xiongfeng, Chen Bo, Qin Yanguo, Zhou You, Xiao Jianlin


artificial intelligence, deep learning, osteonecrosis of the femoral head