PECNet: A Deep Multi-Label Segmentation Network for Eosinophilic Esophagitis Biopsy Diagnostics

by   Nati Daniel, et al.

Background. Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus associated with elevated numbers of eosinophils. Disease diagnosis and monitoring requires determining the concentration of eosinophils in esophageal biopsies, a time-consuming, tedious and somewhat subjective task currently performed by pathologists. Methods. Herein, we aimed to use machine learning to identify, quantitate and diagnose EoE. We labeled more than 100M pixels of 4345 images obtained by scanning whole slides of H E-stained sections of esophageal biopsies derived from 23 EoE patients. We used this dataset to train a multi-label segmentation deep network. To validate the network, we examined a replication cohort of 1089 whole slide images from 419 patients derived from multiple institutions. Findings. PECNet segmented both intact and not-intact eosinophils with a mean intersection over union (mIoU) of 0.93. This segmentation was able to quantitate intact eosinophils with a mean absolute error of 0.611 eosinophils and classify EoE disease activity with an accuracy of 98.5 validation cohort, PECNet achieved an accuracy of 94.8 and specificity of 95.14 have developed a deep learning multi-label semantic segmentation network that successfully addresses two of the main challenges in EoE diagnostics and digital pathology, the need to detect several types of small features simultaneously and the ability to analyze whole slides efficiently. Our results pave the way for an automated diagnosis of EoE and can be utilized for other conditions with similar challenges.


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