3D Consistent & Robust Segmentation of Cardiac Images by Deep Learning with Spatial Propagation

by   Qiao Zheng, et al.

We propose a method based on deep learning to perform cardiac segmentation on short axis MRI image stacks iteratively from the top slice (around the base) to the bottom slice (around the apex). At each iteration, a novel variant of U-net is applied to propagate the segmentation of a slice to the adjacent slice below it. In other words, the prediction of a segmentation of a slice is dependent upon the already existing segmentation of an adjacent slice. 3D-consistency is hence explicitly enforced. The method is trained on a large database of 3078 cases from UK Biobank. It is then tested on 756 different cases from UK Biobank and three other state-of-the-art cohorts (ACDC with 100 cases, Sunnybrook with 30 cases, RVSC with 16 cases). Results comparable or even better than the state-of-the-art in terms of distance measures are achieved. They also emphasize the assets of our method, namely enhanced spatial consistency (currently neither considered nor achieved by the state-of-the-art), and the generalization ability to unseen cases even from other databases.


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