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Deep learning-based simultaneous registration and unsupervised non-correspondence segmentation of medical images with pathologies

Julia Andresen; Timo Kepp; Jan Ehrhardt; Claus von der Burchard; Johann Roider; Heinz Handels
In: International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (IJCARS), Vol. 17, No. 4, Pages 699-710, Springer, 2022.


Purpose The registration of medical images often suffers from missing correspondences due to inter-patient variations, pathologies and their progression leading to implausible deformations that cause misregistrations and might eliminate valu- able information. Detecting non-corresponding regions simultaneously with the registration process helps generating better deformations and has been investigated thoroughly with classical iterative frameworks but rarely with deep learning-based methods. Methods We present the joint non-correspondence segmentation and image registration network (NCR-Net), a convolu- tional neural network (CNN) trained on a Mumford–Shah-like functional, transferring the classical approach to the field of deep learning. NCR-Net consists of one encoding and two decoding parts allowing the network to simultaneously generate diffeomorphic deformations and segment non-correspondences. The loss function is composed of a masked image distance measure and regularization of deformation field and segmentation output. Additionally, anatomical labels are used for weak supervision of the registration task. No manual segmentations of non-correspondences are required. Results The proposed network is evaluated on the publicly available LPBA40 dataset with artificially added stroke lesions and a longitudinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) dataset of patients with age-related macular degeneration. The LPBA40 data are used to quantitatively assess the segmentation performance of the network, and it is shown qualitatively that NCR- Net can be used for the unsupervised segmentation of pathologies in OCT images. Furthermore, NCR-Net is compared to a registration-only network and state-of-the-art registration algorithms showing that NCR-Net achieves competitive performance and superior robustness to non-correspondences. Conclusion NCR-Net, a CNN for simultaneous image registration and unsupervised non-correspondence segmentation, is presented. Experimental results show the network’s ability to segment non-correspondence regions in an unsupervised manner and its robust registration performance even in the presence of large pathologies.

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