Multi-landmark environment analysis with reinforcement learning for pelvic abnormality detection and quantification

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  • Imad Eddine Ibrahim Bekkouch
  • Bulat Maksudov
  • Semen Kiselev
  • Tamerlan Mustafaev
  • Tomaž Vrtovec
  • Ibragimov, Bulat

Morphological abnormalities of the femoroacetabular (hip) joint are among the most common human musculoskeletal disorders and often develop asymptomatically at early easily treatable stages. In this paper, we propose an automated framework for landmark-based detection and quantification of hip abnormalities from magnetic resonance (MR) images. The framework relies on a novel idea of multi-landmark environment analysis with reinforcement learning. In particular, we merge the concepts of the graphical lasso and Morris sensitivity analysis with deep neural networks to quantitatively estimate the contribution of individual landmark and landmark subgroup locations to the other landmark locations. Convolutional neural networks for image segmentation are utilized to propose the initial landmark locations, and landmark detection is then formulated as a reinforcement learning (RL) problem, where each landmark-agent can adjust its position by observing the local MR image neighborhood and the locations of the most-contributive landmarks. The framework was validated on T1-, T2- and proton density-weighted MR images of 260 patients with the aim to measure the lateral center-edge angle (LCEA), femoral neck-shaft angle (NSA), and the anterior and posterior acetabular sector angles (AASA and PASA) of the hip, and derive the quantitative abnormality metrics from these angles. The framework was successfully tested using the UNet and feature pyramid network (FPN) segmentation architectures for landmark proposal generation, and the deep Q-network (DeepQN), deep deterministic policy gradient (DDPG), twin delayed deep deterministic policy gradient (TD3), and actor-critic policy gradient (A2C) RL networks for landmark position optimization. The resulting overall landmark detection error of 1.5 mm and angle measurement error of 1.4° indicates a superior performance in comparison to existing methods. Moreover, the automatically estimated abnormality labels were in 95% agreement with those generated by an expert radiologist.

TidsskriftMedical Image Analysis
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by grant from The Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation (Agreement No. 70-2021-00143 dd. 01.11.2021, IGK 000000D730321P5Q0002).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

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