Meta-information-aware Dual-path Transformer for Differential Diagnosis of Multi-type Pancreatic Lesions in Multi-phase CT

Lecture Notes in Computer Science(2023)

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Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. Accurate detection, segmentation, and differential diagnosis of the full taxonomy of pancreatic lesions, i.e., normal, seven major types of lesions, and other lesions, is critical to aid the clinical decision-making of patient management and treatment. However, existing works focus on segmentation and classification for very specific lesion types (PDAC) or groups. Moreover, none of the previous work considers using lesion prevalence-related non-imaging patient information to assist the differential diagnosis. To this end, we develop a meta-information-aware dual-path transformer and exploit the feasibility of classification and segmentation of the full taxonomy of pancreatic lesions. Specifically, the proposed method consists of a CNN-based segmentation path (S-path) and a transformer-based classification path (C-path). The S-path focuses on initial feature extraction by semantic segmentation using a UNet-based network. The C-path utilizes both the extracted features and meta-information for patient-level classification based on stacks of dual-path transformer blocks that enhance the modeling of global contextual information. A large-scale multi-phase CT dataset of 3,096 patients with pathology-confirmed pancreatic lesion class labels, voxel-wise manual annotations of lesions from radiologists, and patient meta-information, was collected for training and evaluations. Our results show that our method can enable accurate classification and segmentation of the full taxonomy of pancreatic lesions, approaching the accuracy of the radiologist's report and significantly outperforming previous baselines. Results also show that adding the common meta-information, i.e., gender and age, can boost the model's performance, thus demonstrating the importance of meta-information for aiding pancreatic disease diagnosis.
differential diagnosis,meta-information-aware,dual-path,multi-type,multi-phase
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