We developed a deep learning neural network, the Shape Variation Analyzer (SVA), that allows disease staging of bony changes in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis (OA). The sample was composed of 259 TMJ CBCT scans for the training set and 34 for the testing dataset. The 3D meshes had been previously classified in 6 groups by 2 expert clinicians. We improved the robustness of the training data using data augmentation, SMOTE, to alleviate over-fitting and to balance classes. We combined geometrical features and a shape descriptor, heat kernel signature, to describe every shape. The results were compared to nine different supervised machine learning algorithms. The deep learning neural network was the most accurate for classification of TMJ OA. In conclusion, SVA is a 3D Slicer extension that classifies pathology of the temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis cases based on 3D morphology.
Temporo-mandibular osteo arthritis (TMJ OA) is characterized by progressive cartilage degradation and subchondral bone remodeling. The causes of this pathology remain unclear. Current research efforts are concentrated in finding new biomarkers that will help us understand disease progression and ultimately improve the treatment of the disease. In this work, we present Shape Variation Analyzer (SVA), the goal is to develop a noninvasive technique to provide information about shape changes in TMJ OA. SVA uses neural networks to classify morphological variations of 3D models of the mandibular condyle. The shape features used for training include normal vectors, curvature and distances to average models of the condyles. The selected features are purely geometric and are shown to favor the classification task into 6 groups generated by consensus between two clinician experts. With this new approach, we were able to accurately classify 3D models of condyles. In this paper, we present the methods used and the results obtained with this new tool.