Skeleton Supervised Airway Segmentation

Mingyue Zhao, Han Li, Li Fan, Shiyuan Liu, Xiaolan Qiu, S. Kevin Zhou
Computer Science, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (cs.CV)
2024-03-11 00:00:00
Fully-supervised airway segmentation has accomplished significant triumphs over the years in aiding pre-operative diagnosis and intra-operative navigation. However, full voxel-level annotation constitutes a labor-intensive and time-consuming task, often plagued by issues such as missing branches, branch annotation discontinuity, or erroneous edge delineation. label-efficient solutions for airway extraction are rarely explored yet primarily demanding in medical practice. To this end, we introduce a novel skeleton-level annotation (SkA) tailored to the airway, which simplifies the annotation workflow while enhancing annotation consistency and accuracy, preserving the complete topology. Furthermore, we propose a skeleton-supervised learning framework to achieve accurate airway segmentation. Firstly, a dual-stream buffer inference is introduced to realize initial label propagation from SkA, avoiding the collapse of direct learning from SkA. Then, we construct a geometry-aware dual-path propagation framework (GDP) to further promote complementary propagation learning, composed of hard geometry-aware propagation learning and soft geometry-aware propagation guidance. Experiments reveal that our proposed framework outperforms the competing methods with SKA, which amounts to only 1.96% airways, and achieves comparable performance with the baseline model that is fully supervised with 100% airways, demonstrating its significant potential in achieving label-efficient segmentation for other tubular structures, such as vessels.
PDF: Skeleton Supervised Airway Segmentation.pdf
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