Deep Learning Enables Prostate MRI Segmentation: A Large Cohort Evaluation With Inter-Rater Variability Analysis

Yongkai Liu, Qi Miao, Chuthaporn Surawech, Haoxin Zheng, Dan Nguyen, Guang Yang, Steven S. Raman, Kyunghyun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Whole-prostate gland (WPG) segmentation plays a significant role in prostate volume measurement, treatment, and biopsy planning. This study evaluated a previously developed automatic WPG segmentation, deep attentive neural network (DANN), on a large, continuous patient cohort to test its feasibility in a clinical setting. With IRB approval and HIPAA compliance, the study cohort included 3,698 3T MRI scans acquired between 2016 and 2020. In total, 335 MRI scans were used to train the model, and 3,210 and 100 were used to conduct the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the model. In addition, the DANN-enabled prostate volume estimation was evaluated by using 50 MRI scans in comparison with manual prostate volume estimation. For qualitative evaluation, visual grading was used to evaluate the performance of WPG segmentation by two abdominal radiologists, and DANN demonstrated either acceptable or excellent performance in over 96% of the testing cohort on the WPG or each prostate sub-portion (apex, midgland, or base). Two radiologists reached a substantial agreement on WPG and midgland segmentation (κ = 0.75 and 0.63) and moderate agreement on apex and base segmentation (κ = 0.56 and 0.60). For quantitative evaluation, DANN demonstrated a dice similarity coefficient of 0.93 ± 0.02, significantly higher than other baseline methods, such as DeepLab v3+ and UNet (both p values < 0.05). For the volume measurement, 96% of the evaluation cohort achieved differences between the DANN-enabled and manual volume measurement within 95% limits of agreement. In conclusion, the study showed that the DANN achieved sufficient and consistent WPG segmentation on a large, continuous study cohort, demonstrating its great potential to serve as a tool to measure prostate volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number801876
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Dec 21 2021


  • deep attentive neural network
  • large cohort evaluation
  • prostate segmentation
  • qualitative evaluation
  • quantitative evaluation
  • volume measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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