Automatic cardiac cine MRI segmentation and heart disease classification.
Cardiac cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) continues to be recognized as an established modality for non-invasive assessment of the function and structure of the cardiovascular system. Making full use of fully convolutional neural networks CNNs ability to operate pixel-wise classification, cine MRI sequences can be segmented and volumetric features of three key heart structures are computed for disease prediction. The three key heart structures are the left ventricle cavity, right ventricle cavity and the left ventricle myocardium. In this paper, we suggest an automated pipeline for both cardiac segmentation and diagnosis. The study was conducted on a dataset of 150 patients from Dijon Hospital in the context of the post-2017 Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention MICCAI, Automated Cardiac Diagnosis Challenge (ACDC). The challenge consists in two phases: (i) a segmentation contest, where performance is evaluated on dice overlap coefficient and Hausdorff distance metrics, and a (ii) diagnosis contest for heart disease classification. For this aim, we propose the use of a deep learning based network for segmentation of the three key cardiac structures within short-axis cine MRI sequences and a classifier ensemble for heart disease classification. The deep learning segmentation network is a UNet fully convolutional neural network variant with fewer trainable parameters. The classifier ensemble consists in combining three classifiers, namely a multilayer perceptron, a random forest and a support vector machine. Before feeding the segmentation network, a preliminary step consists in localizing heart region and cropping input images to a restricted region of interest (ROI). This is achieved by a signal processing based approach and aims at reducing multi-class imbalance and computational load. We achieved nearly state of the art accuracy performances for both the segmentation and disease classification challenges. Reporting a mean dice overlap coefficient of 0.92 for the three cardiac structures segmentation, along with good limits of agreement for the various derived clinical indices, leading to an accuracy of 0.92 for the disease classification on unseen data.