Federated Transfer Learning for Low-Dose PET Denoising: A Pilot Study With Simulated Heterogeneous Data

IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences(2023)

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Positron emission tomography (PET) with a reduced injection dose, i.e., low-dose PET, is an efficient way to reduce radiation dose. However, low-dose PET reconstruction suffers from a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), affecting diagnosis and other PET-related applications. Recently, deep learning-based PET denoising methods have demonstrated superior performance in generating high-quality reconstruction. However, these methods require a large amount of representative data for training, which can be difficult to collect and share due to medical data privacy regulations. Moreover, low-dose PET data at different institutions may use different low-dose protocols, leading to nonidentical data distribution. While previous federated learning (FL) algorithms enable multiinstitution collaborative training without the need of aggregating local data, it is challenging for previous methods to address the large domain shift caused by different low-dose PET settings, and the application of FL to PET is still underexplored. In this work, we propose a federated transfer learning (FTL) framework for low-dose PET denoising using heterogeneous low-dose data. Our experimental results on simulated multiinstitutional data demonstrate that our method can efficiently utilize heterogeneous low-dose data without compromising data privacy for achieving superior low-dose PET denoising performance for different institutions with different low-dose settings, as compared to previous FL methods.
Noise reduction,Positron emission tomography,Image reconstruction,Biomedical imaging,Training,Task analysis,Data privacy,Denoising,federated learning (FL),low-dose positron emission tomography (PET),transfer learning
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