Deep Learning on Point Clouds for False Positive Reduction at Nodule Detection in Chest CT Scans

by   Ivan Drokin, et al.

The paper focuses on a novel approach for false-positive reduction (FPR) of nodule candidates in Computer-aided detection (CADe) system after suspicious lesions proposing stage. Unlike common decisions in medical image analysis, the proposed approach considers input data not as 2d or 3d image, but as a point cloud and uses deep learning models for point clouds. We found out that models for point clouds require less memory and are faster on both training and inference than traditional CNN 3D, achieves better performance and does not impose restrictions on the size of the input image, thereby the size of the nodule candidate. We propose an algorithm for transforming 3d CT scan data to point cloud. In some cases, the volume of the nodule candidate can be much smaller than the surrounding context, for example, in the case of subpleural localization of the nodule. Therefore, we developed an algorithm for sampling points from a point cloud constructed from a 3D image of the candidate region. The algorithm guarantees to capture both context and candidate information as part of the point cloud of the nodule candidate. An experiment with creating a dataset from an open LIDC-IDRI database for a feature of the FPR task was accurately designed, set up and described in detail. The data augmentation technique was applied to avoid overfitting and as an upsampling method. Experiments are conducted with PointNet, PointNet++ and DGCNN. We show that the proposed approach outperforms baseline CNN 3D models and demonstrates 85.98 FROC versus 77.26 FROC for baseline models.


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