3D Vessel Segmentation with Limited Guidance of 2D Structure-agnostic Vessel Annotations

by   Huai Chen, et al.

Delineating 3D blood vessels is essential for clinical diagnosis and treatment, however, is challenging due to complex structure variations and varied imaging conditions. Supervised deep learning has demonstrated its superior capacity in automatic 3D vessel segmentation. However, the reliance on expensive 3D manual annotations and limited capacity for annotation reuse hinder the clinical applications of supervised models. To avoid the repetitive and laborious annotating and make full use of existing vascular annotations, this paper proposes a novel 3D shape-guided local discrimination model for 3D vascular segmentation under limited guidance from public 2D vessel annotations. The primary hypothesis is that 3D vessels are composed of semantically similar voxels and exhibit tree-shaped morphology. Accordingly, the 3D region discrimination loss is firstly proposed to learn the discriminative representation measuring voxel-wise similarities and cluster semantically consistent voxels to form the candidate 3D vascular segmentation in unlabeled images; secondly, based on the similarity of the tree-shaped morphology between 2D and 3D vessels, the Crop-and-Overlap strategy is presented to generate reference masks from 2D structure-agnostic vessel annotations, which are fit for varied vascular structures, and the adversarial loss is introduced to guide the tree-shaped morphology of 3D vessels; thirdly, the temporal consistency loss is proposed to foster the training stability and keep the model updated smoothly. To further enhance the model's robustness and reliability, the orientation-invariant CNN module and Reliability-Refinement algorithm are presented. Experimental results from the public 3D cerebrovascular and 3D arterial tree datasets demonstrate that our model achieves comparable effectiveness against nine supervised models.


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