Purpose: We investigate, by an extensive quality evaluation approach, performances and potential side effects introduced in Computed Tomography (CT) images by Deep Learning (DL) processing. Method: We selected two relevant processing steps, denoise and segmentation, implemented by two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) models based on autoencoder architecture (encoder-decoder and UNet) and trained for the two tasks. In order to limit the number of uncontrolled variables, we designed a phantom containing cylindrical inserts of different sizes, filled with iodinated contrast media. A large CT image dataset was collected at different acquisition settings and two reconstruction algorithms. We characterized the CNNs behavior using metrics from the signal detection theory, radiological and conventional image quality parameters, and finally unconventional radiomic features analysis. Results: The UNet, due to the deeper architecture complexity, outperformed the shallower encoder-decoder in terms of conventional quality parameters and preserved spatial resolution. We also studied how the CNNs modify the noise texture by using radiomic analysis, identifying sensitive and insensitive features to the denoise processing. Conclusions: The proposed evaluation approach proved effective to accurately analyze and quantify the differences in CNNs behavior, in particular with regard to the alterations introduced in the processed images. Our results suggest that even a deeper and more complex network, which achieves good performances, is not necessarily a better network because it can modify texture features in an unwanted way.

Addressing signal alterations induced in CT images by deep learning processing: A preliminary phantom study

Sanguineti V.;Ragonesi R.;Akbar M. U.;Del Bue A.;Sona D.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: We investigate, by an extensive quality evaluation approach, performances and potential side effects introduced in Computed Tomography (CT) images by Deep Learning (DL) processing. Method: We selected two relevant processing steps, denoise and segmentation, implemented by two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) models based on autoencoder architecture (encoder-decoder and UNet) and trained for the two tasks. In order to limit the number of uncontrolled variables, we designed a phantom containing cylindrical inserts of different sizes, filled with iodinated contrast media. A large CT image dataset was collected at different acquisition settings and two reconstruction algorithms. We characterized the CNNs behavior using metrics from the signal detection theory, radiological and conventional image quality parameters, and finally unconventional radiomic features analysis. Results: The UNet, due to the deeper architecture complexity, outperformed the shallower encoder-decoder in terms of conventional quality parameters and preserved spatial resolution. We also studied how the CNNs modify the noise texture by using radiomic analysis, identifying sensitive and insensitive features to the denoise processing. Conclusions: The proposed evaluation approach proved effective to accurately analyze and quantify the differences in CNNs behavior, in particular with regard to the alterations introduced in the processed images. Our results suggest that even a deeper and more complex network, which achieves good performances, is not necessarily a better network because it can modify texture features in an unwanted way.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1069462
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