Z-Net: an Asymmetric 3D DCNN for Medical CT Volume Segmentation

by   Peichao Li, et al.

Accurate volume segmentation from the Computed Tomography (CT) scan is a common prerequisite for pre-operative planning, intra-operative guidance and quantitative assessment of therapeutic outcomes in robot-assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). The use of 3D Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) is a viable solution for this task but is memory intensive. The use of patch division can mitigate this issue in practice, but can cause discontinuities between the adjacent patches and severe class-imbalances within individual sub-volumes. This paper presents a new patch division approach - Patch-512 to tackle the class-imbalance issue by preserving a full field-of-view of the objects in the XY planes. To achieve better segmentation results based on these asymmetric patches, a 3D DCNN architecture using asymmetrical separable convolutions is proposed. The proposed network, called Z-Net, can be seamlessly integrated into existing 3D DCNNs such as 3D U-Net and V-Net, for improved volume segmentation. Detailed validation of the method is provided for CT aortic, liver and lung segmentation, demonstrating the effectiveness and practical value of the method for intra-operative 3D navigation in robot-assisted MIS.


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