Pulmonary nodule classification with deep residual networks

Original Article
  • 141 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose 

Lung cancer has the highest death rate among all cancers in the USA. In this work we focus on improving the ability of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems to predict the malignancy of nodules from cropped CT images of lung nodules.

Methods

We evaluate the effectiveness of very deep convolutional neural networks at the task of expert-level lung nodule malignancy classification. Using the state-of-the-art ResNet architecture as our basis, we explore the effect of curriculum learning, transfer learning, and varying network depth on the accuracy of malignancy classification.

Results

Due to a lack of public datasets with standardized problem definitions and train/test splits, studies in this area tend to not compare directly against other existing work. This makes it hard to know the relative improvement in the new solution. In contrast, we directly compare our system against two state-of-the-art deep learning systems for nodule classification on the LIDC/IDRI dataset using the same experimental setup and data set. The results show that our system achieves the highest performance in terms of all metrics measured including sensitivity, specificity, precision, AUROC, and accuracy.

Conclusions

The proposed method of combining deep residual learning, curriculum learning, and transfer learning translates to high nodule classification accuracy. This reveals a promising new direction for effective pulmonary nodule CAD systems that mirrors the success of recent deep learning advances in other image-based application domains.

Keywords

Lung nodule Convolutional neural network CT images 

Copyright information

© CARS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Computer EngineeringLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations