Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death. To diagnose lung cancers in early stages, numerous studies and approaches have been developed for cancer screening with computed tomography (CT) imaging. In recent years, convolutional neural networks (CNN) have become one of the most common and reliable techniques in computer aided detection (CADe) and diagnosis (CADx) by achieving state-of-the-art-level performances for various tasks. In this study, we propose a CNN classification system for false positive reduction of initially detected lung nodule candidates. First, image patches of lung nodule candidates are extracted from CT scans to train a CNN classifier. To reflect the volumetric contextual information of lung nodules to 2D image patch, we propose a weighted average image patch (WAIP) generation by averaging multiple slice images of lung nodule candidates. Moreover, to emphasize central slices of lung nodules, slice images are locally weighted according to Gaussian distribution and averaged to generate the 2D WAIP. With these extracted patches, 2D CNN is trained to achieve the classification of WAIPs of lung nodule candidates into positive and negative labels. We used LUNA 2016 public challenge database to validate the performance of our approach for false positive reduction in lung CT nodule classification. Experiments show our approach improves the classification accuracy of lung nodules compared to the baseline 2D CNN with patches from single slice image.
Haeil Lee, Hansang Lee, Minseok Park, and Junmo Kim, "Contextual convolutional neural networks for lung nodule classification using Gaussian-weighted average image patches," Proc. SPIE 10134, Medical Imaging 2017: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 1013423 (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 17, 2017; Published: 3 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253978.
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