Automatic extraction of coronary arteries using deep learning in invasive coronary angiograms

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Department of Applied Computing; Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Institute of Computing and Cybersystems; Health Research Institute


BACKGROUND: Accurate extraction of coronary arteries from invasive coronary angiography (ICA) images is essential for the diagnosis and risk stratification of coronary artery disease (CAD). OBJECTIVE: In this study, a novel deep learning (DL) method is proposed for automatically extracting coronary arteries from ICA images. METHODS: A convolutional neural network (CNN) was developed with full-scale skip connections and full-scale deep supervisions. The encoder architecture was based on the residual and inception modules to obtain multi-scale features from multiple convolutional layers with different window shapes. Transfer learning was utilized to improve both the initial performance and learning efficiency. A hybrid loss function was employed to further optimize the segmentation model. RESULTS: The model was tested on a data set of 616 ICAs obtained from 210 patients, composed of 437 images for training, 49 images for validation, and 130 images for testing. The segmentation model achieved a Dice score of 0.8942, a sensitivity of 0.8735, a specificity of 0.9954, and a Hausdorff distance of 6.0794 mm; it could predict arteries for a single ICA frame in 0.2114 seconds. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that our model outperformed the state-of-the-art deep-learning models. Our new method has great potential for clinical use.

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Technology and Health Care