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In Canadian Association of Radiologists journal = Journal l'Association canadienne des radiologistes

Purpose: Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine, and as a measure of scoliosis severity, Cobb angle is fundamental to the diagnosis of deformities that require treatment. Conventional Cobb angle measurement and assessment is usually done manually, which is inherently time-consuming, and associated with high inter- and intra-observer variability. While there exist automatic scoliosis measurement methods, they suffer from insufficient accuracy. In this work, we propose a two-step segmentation-based deep learning architecture to automate Cobb angle measurement for scoliosis assessment using X-Ray images. Methods: The proposed architecture involves two steps. In the first step, we utilize a novel Augmented U-Net architecture to generate segmentations of vertebrae. The second step includes a non-learning-based pipeline to extract landmark coordinates from the segmented vertebrae and filter undesirable landmarks. Results: Our proposed Augmented U-Net architecture achieved a Symmetric Mean Absolute Percentage Error of 9.2%, with approximately 90% of estimations having less than 10 degrees difference compared with the AASCE-MICCAI challenge 2019 dataset ground truths. We further validated the model using an internal dataset and achieved almost the same level of performance. Conclusion: The proposed architecture is robust in providing automated spinal vertebrae segmentations and Cobb angle measurement, and is potentially generalizable to real-world clinical settings.

Wu Yujie, Namdar Khashayar, Chen Chaojun, Hosseinpour Shahob, Shroff Manohar, Doria Andrea S, Khalvati Farzad


Cobb angle, convolutional neural network, scoliosis, vertebra landmark