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In Computer methods and programs in biomedicine

PURPOSE : Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events and mortality. Pathological LVH can be caused by various diseases. In this study, we explored the possibility of using time and frequency domain analysis of myocardial radiomics features for patients with LVH in differentiating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), hypertensive heart disease (HHD) and uremic cardiomyopathy (UCM) based on transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). This was the first study to explore TTE myocardial time and frequency domain analyses for multiple LVH etiology differentiation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : We proposed an artificially intelligent diagnosis system based on radiomics techniques for differentiating HCM, HHD and UCM on TTE videos of the apical four-chamber view, which mainly included interventricular septum (IVS) segmentation, feature extraction and classification. We used two independent cohorts, one with 150 patients, including 50 HHD, 50 HCM and 50 UCM, for segmentation training and testing, and another with 149 patients (namely the main cohort), including 50 HHD, 46 HCM and 53 UCM, for classification training and testing after segmentation and feature extraction. Firstly, the U-Net, Residual U-Net (ResUNet) and nnU-Net were trained and tested to segment the IVS on TTE still images in the first cohort. Then the trained model with the best segmentation performance was further used for IVS prediction of ordered TTE images in video sequences in the main cohort. The post-processing was used to eliminate the noisy debris by selecting the maximum connected region and smoothing the edges of the predicted IVS region. Secondly, static radiomics features were extracted from the IVS of ordered TTE images in each video sequence, and subsequently the time and frequency domain features were further extracted from each time series of a static radiomics feature in the video sequence. Finally, the point-wise gated Boltzmann machine (PGBM) was used to learn and fuse the time and frequency domain features, and the support vector machine was used to classify the learned features for LVH diagnosis. The classification was performed with five-fold cross validation.

RESULTS : The ResUNet showed the best segmentation performance, with Dice coefficient, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 0.817, 76.3%, 99.6% and 98.6%, respectively. With post-processing, the Dice coefficient, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the ResUNet were further improved to 0.839, 77.0%, 99.8%, and 98.8%, respectively. The classification areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) were 0.838 ± 0.049 for HHD vs. HCM, 0.868 ± 0.042 for HCM vs. UCM and 0.701 ± 0.140 for HHD vs. UCM.

CONCLUSION : In this work, we proposed an intelligent identification system for LVH etiology classification based on routine TTE video images with good diagnostic performance. This deep learning method is feasible in automatic TTE images interpretation and expected to assist clinicians in detecting the primary cause of LVH.

Xu Zhou, Yu Fei, Zhang Bo, Zhang Qi


Artificially intelligent diagnosis, Deep learning, Interventricular septum (IVS) segmentation, Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), Time and frequency domain analyses, Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE)