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An End-to-End System for Automatic Urinary Particle Recognition with Convolutional Neural Network


The urine sediment analysis of particles in microscopic images can assist physicians in evaluating patients with renal and urinary tract diseases. Manual urine sediment examination is labor-intensive, subjective and time-consuming, and the traditional automatic algorithms often extract the hand-crafted features for recognition. Instead of using the hand-crafted features, in this paper we propose to exploit convolutional neural network (CNN) to learn features in an end-to-end manner to recognize the urinary particle. We treat the urinary particle recognition as object detection and exploit two state-of-the-art CNN-based object detection methods, Faster R-CNN and single shot multibox detector (SSD), along with their variants for urinary particle recognition. We further investigate different factors involving these CNN-based methods to improve the performance of urinary particle recognition. We comprehensively evaluate these methods on a dataset consisting of 5,376 annotated images corresponding to 7 categories of urinary particle, i.e., erythrocyte, leukocyte, epithelial cell, crystal, cast, mycete, epithelial nuclei, and obtain a best mean average precision (mAP) of 84.1% while taking only 72 ms per image on a NVIDIA Titan X GPU.

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This research was partially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (No. 14JJ2008) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61602522, No. 61573380, No. 61672542.

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Correspondence to Yixiong Liang.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Image & Signal Processing



Fig. 8
figure 8

Selecteddetection examples of urinary particle on urinalysis test set. We show detections with scores higher than 0.7. All examples are divided into 7 groups, where 5 groups are at high-power field (i.e., erythrocyte, leukocyte, crystal, mycete, epithelial nuclei ) and the other 2 groups at low-power field (i.e., epithelial cell, cast ). In each group: a shows original image with ground truth boxes; b-d are Faster R-CNN detections separately on ZF, VGG-16 and ResNet-50 networks with a anchor scales of {322, 642, 1282, 2562, 5122}; e shows detection results on PVANet; f shows detection results on SSD300 model. For the ground truths and detection boxes, different categories use only different colors: eryth (red), leuko (black), epith (green), crystal (magenta), cast (cyan), mycete (yellow). As shown in this figure, the performance of SSD is inferior to Faster R-CNN, and it misses a lot of small objects

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Liang, Y., Kang, R., Lian, C. et al. An End-to-End System for Automatic Urinary Particle Recognition with Convolutional Neural Network. J Med Syst 42, 165 (2018).

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  • Urinary particle recognition
  • CNN
  • Faster R-CNN
  • SSD