Publications by authors named "Hanqiang Cao"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Rapid whole-brain electric field mapping in transcranial magnetic stimulation using deep learning.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(7):e0254588. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States of America.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive neurostimulation technique that is increasingly used in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders and neuroscience research. Due to the complex structure of the brain and the electrical conductivity variation across subjects, identification of subject-specific brain regions for TMS is important to improve the treatment efficacy and understand the mechanism of treatment response. Numerical computations have been used to estimate the stimulated electric field (E-field) by TMS in brain tissue. But the relative long computation time limits the application of this approach. In this paper, we propose a deep-neural-network based approach to expedite the estimation of whole-brain E-field by using a neural network architecture, named 3D-MSResUnet and multimodal imaging data. The 3D-MSResUnet network integrates the 3D U-net architecture, residual modules and a mechanism to combine multi-scale feature maps. It is trained using a large dataset with finite element method (FEM) based E-field and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based anisotropic volume conductivity or anatomical images. The performance of 3D-MSResUnet is evaluated using several evaluation metrics and different combinations of imaging modalities and coils. The experimental results show that the output E-field of 3D-MSResUnet provides reliable estimation of the E-field estimated by the state-of-the-art FEM method with significant reduction in prediction time to about 0.24 second. Thus, this study demonstrates that neural networks are potentially useful tools to accelerate the prediction of E-field for TMS targeting.
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July 2021

DiSegNet: A deep dilated convolutional encoder-decoder architecture for lymph node segmentation on PET/CT images.

Comput Med Imaging Graph 2021 03 29;88:101851. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Medical Image Processing Group, 602 Goddard Building, 3710 Hamilton Walk, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, United States.

Purpose: Automated lymph node (LN) recognition and segmentation from cross-sectional medical images is an important step for the automated diagnostic assessment of patients with cancer. Yet, it is still a difficult task owing to the low contrast of LNs and surrounding soft tissues as well as due to the variation in nodal size and shape. In this paper, we present a novel LN segmentation method based on a newly designed neural network for positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images.

Methods: This work communicates two problems involved in LN segmentation task. Firstly, an efficient loss function named cosine-sine (CS) is proposed for the voxel class imbalance problem in the convolution network training process. Second, a multi-stage and multi-scale Atrous (Dilated) spatial pyramid pooling sub-module, named MS-ASPP, is introduced to the encoder-decoder architecture (SegNet), which aims to make use of multi-scale information to improve the performance of LN segmentation. The new architecture is named DiSegNet (Dilated SegNet).

Results: Four-fold cross-validation is performed on 63 PET/CT data sets. In each experiment, 10 data sets are selected randomly for testing and the other 53 for training. The results show that we reach an average 77 % Dice similarity coefficient score with CS loss function by trained DiSegNet, compared to a baseline method SegNet by cross-entropy (CE) with 71 % Dice similarity coefficient.

Conclusions: The performance of the proposed DiSegNet with CS loss function suggests its potential clinical value for disease quantification.
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March 2021

AAR-LN-DQ: Automatic anatomy recognition based disease quantification in thoracic lymph node zones via FDG PET/CT images without Nodal Delineation.

Med Phys 2020 Aug 15;47(8):3467-3484. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Medical Image Processing Group, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, 602 Goddard building, 3710 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Purpose: The derivation of quantitative information from medical images in a practical manner is essential for quantitative radiology (QR) to become a clinical reality, but still faces a major hurdle because of image segmentation challenges. With the goal of performing disease quantification in lymph node (LN) stations without explicit nodal delineation, this paper presents a novel approach for disease quantification (DQ) by automatic recognition of LN zones and detection of malignant lymph nodes within thoracic LN zones via positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images. Named AAR-LN-DQ, this approach decouples DQ methods from explicit nodal segmentation via an LN recognition strategy involving a novel globular filter and a deep neural network called SegNet.

Method: The methodology consists of four main steps: (a) Building lymph node zone models by automatic anatomy recognition (AAR) method. It incorporates novel aspects of model building that relate to finding an optimal hierarchy for organs and lymph node zones in the thorax. (b) Recognizing lymph node zones by the built lymph node models. (c) Detecting pathologic LNs in the recognized zones by using a novel globular filter (g-filter) and a multi-level support vector machine (SVM) classifier. Here, we make use of the general globular shape of LNs to first localize them and then use a multi-level SVM classifier to identify pathologic LNs from among the LNs localized by the g-filter. Alternatively, we designed a deep neural network called SegNet which is trained to directly recognize pathologic nodes within AAR localized LN zones. (d) Disease quantification based on identified pathologic LNs within localized zones. A fuzzy disease map is devised to express the degree of disease burden at each voxel within the identified LNs to simultaneously handle several uncertain phenomena such as PET partial volume effects, uncertainty in localization of LNs, and gradation of disease content at the voxel level. We focused on the task of disease quantification in patients with lymphoma based on PET/CT acquisitions and devised a method of evaluation. Model building was carried out using 42 near-normal patient datasets via contrast-enhanced CT examinations of their thorax. PET/CT datasets from an additional 63 lymphoma patients were utilized for evaluating the AAR-LN-DQ methodology. We assess the accuracy of the three main processes involved in AAR-LN-DQ via fivefold cross validation: lymph node zone recognition, abnormal lymph node localization, and disease quantification.

Results: The recognition and scale error for LN zones were 12.28 mm ± 1.99 and 0.94 ± 0.02, respectively, on normal CT datasets. On abnormal PET/CT datasets, the sensitivity and specificity of pathologic LN recognition were 84.1% ± 0.115 and 98.5% ± 0.003, respectively, for the g-filter-SVM strategy, and 91.3% ± 0.110 and 96.1% ± 0.016, respectively, for the SegNet method. Finally, the mean absolute percent errors for disease quantification of the recognized abnormal LNs were 8% ± 0.09 and 14% ± 0.10 for the g-filter-SVM method and the best SegNet strategy, respectively.

Conclusions: Accurate disease quantification on PET/CT images without performing explicit delineation of lymph nodes is feasible following lymph node zone and pathologic LN localization. It is very useful to perform LN zone recognition by AAR as this step can cover most (95.8%) of the abnormal LNs and drastically reduce the regions to search for abnormal LNs. This also improves the specificity of deep networks such as SegNet significantly. It is possible to utilize general shape information about LNs such as their globular nature via g-filter and to arrive at high recognition rates for abnormal LNs in conjunction with a traditional classifier such as SVM. Finally, the disease map concept is effective for estimating disease burden, irrespective of how the LNs are identified, to handle various uncertainties without having to address them explicitly one by one.
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August 2020

Thoracic lymph node station recognition on CT images based on automatic anatomy recognition with an optimal parent strategy.

Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng 2018 Feb 2;10574. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Medical Image Processing Group, 602 Goddard building, 3710 Hamilton Walk, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States.

Currently, there are many papers that have been published on the detection and segmentation of lymph nodes from medical images. However, it is still a challenging problem owing to low contrast with surrounding soft tissues and the variations of lymph node size and shape on computed tomography (CT) images. This is particularly very difficult on low-dose CT of PET/CT acquisitions. In this study, we utilize our previous automatic anatomy recognition (AAR) framework to recognize the thoracic-lymph node stations defined by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) lymph node map. The lymph node stations themselves are viewed as anatomic objects and are localized by using a one-shot method in the AAR framework. Two strategies have been taken in this paper for integration into AAR framework. The first is to combine some lymph node stations into composite lymph node stations according to their geometrical nearness. The other is to find the optimal parent (organ or union of organs) as an anchor for each lymph node station based on the recognition error and thereby find an overall optimal hierarchy to arrange anchor organs and lymph node stations. Based on 28 contrast-enhanced thoracic CT image data sets for model building, 12 independent data sets for testing, our results show that thoracic lymph node stations can be localized within 2-3 voxels compared to the ground truth.
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February 2018

Advances on image interpolation based on ant colony algorithm.

Springerplus 2016 1;5:403. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Road, Wuchang, Wuhan, 430074 People's Republic of China.

This paper presents an advance on image interpolation based on ant colony algorithm (AACA) for high resolution image scaling. The difference between the proposed algorithm and the previously proposed optimization of bilinear interpolation based on ant colony algorithm (OBACA) is that AACA uses global weighting, whereas OBACA uses local weighting scheme. The strength of the proposed global weighting of AACA algorithm depends on employing solely the pheromone matrix information present on any group of four adjacent pixels to decide which case deserves a maximum global weight value or not. Experimental results are further provided to show the higher performance of the proposed AACA algorithm with reference to the algorithms mentioned in this paper.
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April 2016