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Airway Measurement by Refinement of Synthetic Images Improves Mortality Prediction in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 13609)


Several chronic lung diseases, like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are characterised by abnormal dilatation of the airways. Quantification of airway features on computed tomography (CT) can help characterise disease severity and progression. Physics based airway measurement algorithms that have been developed have met with limited success, in part due to the sheer diversity of airway morphology seen in clinical practice. Supervised learning methods are not feasible due to the high cost of obtaining precise airway annotations. We propose synthesising airways by style transfer using perceptual losses to train our model: Airway Transfer Network (ATN). We compare our ATN model with a state-of-the-art GAN-based network (simGAN) using a) qualitative assessment; b) assessment of the ability of ATN and simGAN based CT airway metrics to predict mortality in a population of 113 patients with IPF. ATN was shown to be quicker and easier to train than simGAN. ATN-based airway measurements showed consistently stronger associations with mortality than simGAN-derived airway metrics on IPF CTs. Airway synthesis by a transformation network that refines synthetic data using perceptual losses is a realistic alternative to GAN-based methods for clinical CT analyses of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Our source code can be found at that is compatible with the existing open-source airway analysis framework, AirQuant.


  • Generative model evaluation
  • Style transfer
  • Computed tomography
  • Airway measurement
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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This research was funded in whole or in part by the Wellcome Trust [209553/Z/17/Z]. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC-BY public copyright licence to any author accepted manuscript version arising from this submission. AP is funded jointly by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and EPSRC i4health, centre for doctoral training studentship. JJ was supported by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship and the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, UK.

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Correspondence to Ashkan Pakzad .

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Pakzad, A. et al. (2022). Airway Measurement by Refinement of Synthetic Images Improves Mortality Prediction in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. In: Mukhopadhyay, A., Oksuz, I., Engelhardt, S., Zhu, D., Yuan, Y. (eds) Deep Generative Models. DGM4MICCAI 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13609. Springer, Cham.

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