Convolutional neural network-based automatic heart segmentation and quantitation in 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine SPECT imaging
Journal article, 2021

Since three-dimensional segmentation of cardiac region in 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) study has not been established, this study aimed to achieve organ segmentation using a convolutional neural network (CNN) with 123I-MIBG single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, to calculate heart counts and washout rates (WR) automatically and to compare with conventional quantitation based on planar imaging.
We assessed 48 patients (aged 68.4 ± 11.7 years) with heart and neurological diseases, including chronic heart failure, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Parkinson's disease. All patients were assessed by early and late 123I-MIBG planar and SPECT imaging. The CNN was initially trained to individually segment the lungs and liver on early and late SPECT images. The segmentation masks were aligned, and then, the CNN was trained to directly segment the heart, and all models were evaluated using fourfold cross-validation. The CNN-based average heart counts and WR were calculated and compared with those determined using planar parameters. The CNN-based SPECT and conventional planar heart counts were corrected by physical time decay, injected dose of 123I-MIBG, and body weight. We also divided WR into normal and abnormal groups from linear regression lines determined by the relationship between planar WR and CNN-based WR and then analyzed agreement between them.
The CNN segmented the cardiac region in patients with normal and reduced uptake. The CNN-based SPECT heart counts significantly correlated with conventional planar heart counts with and without background correction and a planar heart-to-mediastinum ratio (R2 = 0.862, 0.827, and 0.729, p < 0.0001, respectively). The CNN-based and planar WRs also correlated with and without background correction and WR based on heart-to-mediastinum ratios of R2 = 0.584, 0.568 and 0.507, respectively (p < 0.0001). Contingency table findings of high and low WR (cutoffs: 34% and 30% for planar and SPECT studies, respectively) showed 87.2% agreement between CNN-based and planar methods.
The CNN could create segmentation from SPECT images, and average heart counts and WR were reliably calculated three-dimensionally, which might be a novel approach to quantifying SPECT images of innervation.

Heart-to-mediastinum ratio

Artificial intelligence

Washout rate

Myocardial sympathetic imaging



Shintaro Saito

Kanazawa University

Kenichi Nakajima

Kanazawa University

L. Edenbrandt

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Olof Enqvist

Eigenvision AB

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

Johannes Ulén

Eigenvision AB

Seigo Kinuya

Kanazawa University

EJNMMI Research

2191219x (eISSN)

Vol. 11 1 105

Subject Categories

Medical Laboratory and Measurements Technologies

Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Medical Image Processing



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