An unsupervised anomaly detection model to identify emphysema in low-dose computed tomography
Challenges such as class imbalance, time intensive visual scoring, and limited amounts of labeled data are often encountered while accessing lung cancer screening low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) data for automated emphysema detection. To tackle these issues, we propose a generative adversarial network (GAN) based on unsupervised anomaly detection (UAD) to identify emphysema in LDCT. And to initiate disease specific feature learning, we introduce data augmentation based on minimum intensity projection (minIP) for the adversarial framework. The generator of the UAD model resembles an image latent-image configuration consisting of fully convolutional encoder-decoder architecture with skip connections. The discriminator is an encoder, which acts as a feature extractor and a classifier. We tested the robustness of the minIP based UAD model by adding anomalies to the training set. Furthermore to illustrate the usefulness of minIP and to serve as a comparison methodology for emphysema detection in LDCT, the proposed model was compared to the 2.5D transfer learning model. Visualization techniques like post processed residual images and Grad-cam maps were used to explain the UAD model inference. Our proposed minIP based UAD model showed an area under the curve of 0.91 0.02 for emphysema detection in LDCT. The UAD model was robust to inclusion of anomalies up to 3%. The augmentation improved the sensitivity of the transfer learning model by 2% however the UAD model outperformed the transfer learning model. The UAD model with minIP is a potential computer-aided tool for early detection of emphysema in lung cancer screening data.