EAGMN: Coronary artery semantic labeling using edge attention graph matching network

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the primary causes leading deaths worldwide. The presence of atherosclerotic lesions in coronary arteries is the underlying pathophysiological basis of CAD, and accurate extraction of individual arterial branches using invasive coronary angiography (ICA) is crucial for stenosis detection and CAD diagnosis. However, deep-learning-based models face challenges in generating semantic segmentation for coronary arteries due to the morphological similarity among different types of arteries. To address this challenge, we propose an innovative approach called the Edge Attention Graph Matching Network (EAGMN) for coronary artery semantic labeling. Inspired by the learning process of interventional cardiologists in interpreting ICA images, our model compares arterial branches between two individual graphs generated from different ICAs. We begin with extracting individual graphs based on the vascular tree obtained from the ICA. Each node in the individual graph represents an arterial segment, and the EAGMN aims to learn the similarity between nodes from the two individual graphs. By converting the coronary artery semantic segmentation task into a graph node similarity comparison task, identifying the node-to-node correspondence would assign semantic labels for each arterial branch. More specifically, the EAGMN utilizes the association graph constructed from the two individual graphs as input. A graph attention module is employed for feature embedding and aggregation, while a decoder generates the linear assignment for node-to-node semantic mapping. Based on the learned node-to-node relationships, unlabeled coronary arterial segments are classified using the labeled coronary arterial segments, thereby achieving semantic labeling. A dataset with 263 labeled ICAs is used to train and validate the EAGMN. Experimental results indicate the EAGMN achieved a weighted accuracy of 0.8653, a weighted precision of 0.8656, a weighted recall of 0.8653 and a weighted F1-score of 0.8643. Furthermore, we employ ZORRO to provide interpretability and explainability of the graph matching for artery semantic labeling. These findings highlight the potential of the EAGMN for accurate and efficient coronary artery semantic labeling using ICAs. By leveraging the inherent characteristics of ICAs and incorporating graph matching techniques, our proposed model provides a promising solution for improving CAD diagnosis and treatment.

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Computers in Biology and Medicine