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  1. Medical image segmentation is one of the most challenging tasks in medical image analysis and widely developed for many clinical applications. While deep learning-based approaches have achieved impressive performance in semantic segmentation, they are limited to pixel-wise settings with imbalanced-class data problems and weak boundary object segmentation in medical images. In this paper, we tackle those limitations by developing a new two-branch deep network architecture which takes both higher level features and lower level features into account. The first branch extracts higher level feature as region information by a common encoder-decoder network structure such as Unet and FCN, whereas the second branch focuses on lower level features as support information around the boundary and processes in parallel to the first branch. Our key contribution is the second branch named Narrow Band Active Contour (NB-AC) attention model which treats the object contour as a hyperplane and all data inside a narrow band as support information that influences the position and orientation of the hyperplane. Our proposed NB-AC attention model incorporates the contour length with the region energy involving a fixed-width band around the curve or surface. The proposed network loss contains two fitting terms: (i) a high level feature (i.e., region)more »fitting term from the first branch; (ii) a lower level feature (i.e., contour) fitting term from the second branch including the (ii1) length of the object contour and (ii2) regional energy functional formed by the homogeneity criterion of both the inner band and outer band neighboring the evolving curve or surface. The proposed NB-AC loss can be incorporated into both 2D and 3D deep network architectures. The proposed network has been evaluated on different challenging medical image datasets, including DRIVE, iSeg17, MRBrainS18 and Brats18. The experimental results have shown that the proposed NB-AC loss outperforms other mainstream loss functions: Cross Entropy, Dice, Focal on two common segmentation frameworks Unet and FCN. Our 3D network which is built upon the proposed NB-AC loss and 3DUnet framework achieved state-of-the-art results on multiple volumetric datasets.« less
  2. This work aimed to assist physicians by improving their speed and diagnostic accuracy when interpreting portable CXRs as well as monitoring the treatment process to see whether a patient is improving or deteriorating with treatment. These objectives are in especially high demand in the setting of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent progress in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), we introduce new deep learning frameworks to align and enhance the quality of portable CXRs to be more consistent, and to more closely match higher quality conventional CXRs. These enhanced portable CXRs can then help the doctors provide faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. The contributions of this work are four-fold. Firstly, a new database collection of subject-pair radiographs is introduced. For each subject, we collected a pair of samples from both portable and conventional machines. Secondly, a new deep learning approach is presented to align the subject-pairs dataset to obtain a pixel-pairs dataset. Thirdly, a new PairFlow approach is presented, an end-to-end invertible transfer deep learning method, to enhance the degraded quality of portable CXRs. Finally, the performance of the proposed system is evaluated by UAMS doctors in terms of both image quality and topological properties.more »This work was undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Radiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to enhance portable/mobile COVID-19 CXRs, to improve the speed and accuracy of portable CXR images and aid in urgent COVID-19 diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.« less
  3. Medical image segmentation has played an important role in medical analysis and widely developed for many clinical applications. Deep learning-based approaches have achieved high performance in semantic segmentation but they are limited to pixel-wise setting and imbalanced classes data problem. In this paper, we tackle those limitations by developing a new deep learning-based model which takes into account both higher feature level i.e. region inside contour, intermediate feature level i.e. offset curves around the contour and lower feature level i.e. contour. Our proposed Offset Curves (OsC) loss consists of three main fitting terms. The first fitting term focuses on pixel-wise level segmentation whereas the second fitting term acts as attention model which pays attention to the area around the boundaries (offset curves). The third terms plays a role as regularization term which takes the length of boundaries into account. We evaluate our proposed OsC loss on both 2D network and 3D network. Two common medical datasets, i.e. retina DRIVE and brain tumor BRATS 2018 datasets are used to benchmark our proposed loss performance. The experiments have shown that our proposed OsC loss function outperforms other mainstream loss functions such as Cross-Entropy, Dice, Focal on the most common segmentation networks Unet,more »FCN.« less