Artificially-generated consolidations and balanced augmentation increase performance of U-net for lung parenchyma segmentation on MR images

PLoS One. 2023 May 9;18(5):e0285378. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0285378. eCollection 2023.


PURPOSE: To improve automated lung segmentation on 2D lung MR images using balanced augmentation and artificially-generated consolidations for training of a convolutional neural network (CNN).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 233 healthy volunteers and 100 patients, 1891 coronal MR images were acquired. Of these, 1666 images without consolidations were used to build a binary semantic CNN for lung segmentation and 225 images (187 without consolidations, 38 with consolidations) were used for testing. To increase CNN performance of segmenting lung parenchyma with consolidations, balanced augmentation was performed and artificially-generated consolidations were added to all training images. The proposed CNN (CNNBal/Cons) was compared to two other CNNs: CNNUnbal/NoCons-without balanced augmentation and artificially-generated consolidations and CNNBal/NoCons-with balanced augmentation but without artificially-generated consolidations. Segmentation results were assessed using Sørensen-Dice coefficient (SDC) and Hausdorff distance coefficient.

RESULTS: Regarding the 187 MR test images without consolidations, the mean SDC of CNNUnbal/NoCons (92.1 ± 6% (mean ± standard deviation)) was significantly lower compared to CNNBal/NoCons (94.0 ± 5.3%, P = 0.0013) and CNNBal/Cons (94.3 ± 4.1%, P = 0.0001). No significant difference was found between SDC of CNNBal/Cons and CNNBal/NoCons (P = 0.54). For the 38 MR test images with consolidations, SDC of CNNUnbal/NoCons (89.0 ± 7.1%) was not significantly different compared to CNNBal/NoCons (90.2 ± 9.4%, P = 0.53). SDC of CNNBal/Cons (94.3 ± 3.7%) was significantly higher compared to CNNBal/NoCons (P = 0.0146) and CNNUnbal/NoCons (P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Expanding training datasets via balanced augmentation and artificially-generated consolidations improved the accuracy of CNNBal/Cons, especially in datasets with parenchymal consolidations. This is an important step towards a robust automated postprocessing of lung MRI datasets in clinical routine.

PMID:37159468 | PMC:PMC10168553 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0285378


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