A deep learning image analysis method for renal perfusion estimation in pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling MRI
Anne Oyarzun-Domeño 1 , Izaskun Cia 2 , Rebeca Echeverria-Chasco 3 , María A Fernández-Seara 4 , Paloma L Martin-Moreno 5 , Nuria Garcia-Fernandez 6 , Gorka Bastarrika 7 , Javier Navallas 8 , Arantxa Villanueva 9
Accurate segmentation of renal tissues is an essential step for renal perfusion estimation and postoperative assessment of the allograft. Images are usually manually labeled, which is tedious and prone to human error. We present an image analysis method for the automatic estimation of renal perfusion based on perfusion magnetic resonance imaging.
Specifically, non-contrasted pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) images are used for kidney transplant evaluation and perfusion estimation, as a biomarker of the status of the allograft. The proposed method uses machine/deep learning tools for the segmentation and classification of renal cortical and medullary tissues and automates the estimation of perfusion values.
Data from 16 transplant patients has been used for the experiments. The automatic analysis of differentiated tissues within the kidney, such as cortex and medulla, is performed by employing the time-intensity-curves of non-contrasted T1-weighted MRI series. Specifically, using the Dice similarity coefficient as a figure of merit, results above 93%, 92% and 82% are obtained for whole kidney, cortex, and medulla, respectively.
Besides, estimated cortical and medullary perfusion values are considered to be within the acceptable ranges within clinical practice.
CITATION Magn Reson Imaging. 2023 Sep 28:104:39-51. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2023.09.007