Purpose: Ventilation images can be derived from four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) by analyzing the change in HU values and deformable vector fields between different respiration phases of computed tomography (CT). As deformable image registration (DIR) is involved, accuracy of 4DCT-derived ventilation image is sensitive to the choice of DIR algorithms. To overcome the uncertainty associated with DIR, we develop a method based on deep convolutional neural network (CNN) to derive ventilation images directly from the 4DCT without explicit image registration. Methods: A total of 82 sets of 4DCT and ventilation images from patients with lung cancer were used in this study. In the proposed CNN architecture, the CT two-channel input data consist of CT at the end of exhale and the end of inhale phases. The first convolutional layer has 32 different kernels of size 5 × 5 × 5, followed by another eight convolutional layers each of which is equipped with an activation layer (ReLU). The loss function is the mean-squared-error (MSE) to measure the intensity difference between the predicted and reference ventilation images. Results: The predicted images were comparable to the label images of the test data. The similarity index, correlation coefficient, and Gamma index passing rate averaged over the tenfold cross validation were 0.880 ± 0.035, 0.874 ± 0.024, and 0.806 ± 0.014, respectively. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that deep CNN can generate ventilation imaging from 4DCT without explicit deformable image registration, reducing the associated uncertainty.
- 4DCT lung ventilation imaging
- convolutional neural network
- lung functional imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging