Generalization of deep learning models for ultra-low-count amyloid PET/MRI using transfer learning. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Chen, K. T., Schürer, M., Ouyang, J., Koran, M. E., Davidzon, G., Mormino, E., Tiepolt, S., Hoffmann, K. T., Sabri, O., Zaharchuk, G., Barthel, H. 2020


We aimed to evaluate the performance of deep learning-based generalization of ultra-low-count amyloid PET/MRI enhancement when applied to studies acquired with different scanning hardware and protocols.Eighty simultaneous [18F]florbetaben PET/MRI studies were acquired, split equally between two sites (site 1: Signa PET/MRI, GE Healthcare, 39 participants, 67?±?8 years, 23 females; site 2: mMR, Siemens Healthineers, 64?±?11 years, 23 females) with different MRI protocols. Twenty minutes of list-mode PET data (90-110 min post-injection) were reconstructed as ground-truth. Ultra-low-count data obtained from undersampling by a factor of 100 (site 1) or the first minute of PET acquisition (site 2) were reconstructed for ultra-low-dose/ultra-short-time (1% dose and 5% time, respectively) PET images. A deep convolution neural network was pre-trained with site 1 data and either (A) directly applied or (B) trained further on site 2 data using transfer learning. Networks were also trained from scratch based on (C) site 2 data or (D) all data. Certified physicians determined amyloid uptake (+/-) status for accuracy and scored the image quality. The peak signal-to-noise ratio, structural similarity, and root-mean-squared error were calculated between images and their ground-truth counterparts. Mean regional standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR, reference region: cerebellar cortex) from 37 successful site 2 FreeSurfer segmentations were analyzed.All network-synthesized images had reduced noise than their ultra-low-count reconstructions. Quantitatively, image metrics improved the most using method B, where SUVRs had the least variability from the ground-truth and the highest effect size to differentiate between positive and negative images. Method A images had lower accuracy and image quality than other methods; images synthesized from methods B-D scored similarly or better than the ground-truth images.Deep learning can successfully produce diagnostic amyloid PET images from short frame reconstructions. Data bias should be considered when applying pre-trained deep ultra-low-count amyloid PET/MRI networks for generalization.

View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-020-04897-6

View details for PubMedID 32535655