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A feed forward neural network for classification of bull's-eye myocardial perfusion images

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Identification of hypoperfused areas in myocardial perfusion single-photon emission tomography studies can be aided by bull's-eye representation of raw counts, lesion extent and lesion severity, the latter two being produced by comparison of the raw bull's-eye data with a normal data base. An artificial intelligence technique which is presently becoming widely popular and which is particularly suitable for pattern recognition is that of artificial neural network. We have studied the ability of feed forward neural networks to extract patterns from bull's-eye data by assessing their capability to predict lesion presence without direct comparison with a normal data base. Studies were undertaken on both simulation data and on real stress-rest data obtained from 410 male patients undergoing routine thallium-201 myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The ability of trained neural networks to predict lesion presence was quantified by calculating the areas under receiver operating characteristic curves. Figures as high as 0.96 for non-preclassified patient data were obtained, corresponding to an accuracy of 92%. The results demonstrate that neural networks can accurately classify patterns from bull's-eye myocardial perfusion images and detect the presence of hypoperfused areas without the need for comparison with a normal data base. Preliminary work suggests that this technique could be used to study perfusion patterns in the myocardium and their correlation with clinical parameters.

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Correspondence to David Hamilton.

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Hamilton, D., Riley, P.J., Miola, U.J. et al. A feed forward neural network for classification of bull's-eye myocardial perfusion images. Eur J Nucl Med 22, 108–115 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00838939

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Key words

  • Myocardial perfusion
  • Single-photon emission tomography
  • Bull's-eye images
  • Neural network