The histological assessment of glomeruli is fundamental for determining if a kidney is suitable for transplantation. The Karpinski score is essential to evaluate the need for a single or dual kidney transplant and includes the ratio between the number of sclerotic glomeruli and the overall number of glomeruli in a kidney section. The manual evaluation of kidney biopsies performed by pathologists is time-consuming and error-prone, so an automatic framework to delineate all the glomeruli present in a kidney section can be very useful. Our experiments have been conducted on a dataset provided by the Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantations (DETO) of Bari University Hospital. This dataset is composed of 26 kidney biopsies coming from 19 donors. The rise of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) has led to a realm of methods which are widely applied in Medical Imaging. Deep learning techniques are also very promising for the segmentation of glomeruli, with a variety of existing approaches. Many methods only focus on semantic segmentation—which consists in segmentation of individual pixels—or ignore the problem of discriminating between non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, so these approaches are not optimal or inadequate for transplantation assessment. In this work, we employed an end-to-end fully automatic approach based on Mask R-CNN for instance segmentation and classification of glomeruli. We also compared the results obtained with a baseline based on Faster R-CNN, which only allows detection at bounding boxes level. With respect to the existing literature, we improved the Mask R-CNN approach in sliding window contexts, by employing a variant of the Non-Maximum Suppression (NMS) algorithm, which we called Non-Maximum-Area Suppression (NMAS). The obtained results are very promising, leading to improvements over existing literature. The baseline Faster R-CNN-based approach obtained an F-Measure of 0.904 and 0.667 for non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, respectively. The Mask R-CNN approach has a significant improvement over the baseline, obtaining an F-Measure of 0.925 and 0.777 for non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, respectively. The proposed method is very promising for the instance segmentation and classification of glomeruli, and allows to make a robust evaluation of global glomerulosclerosis. We also compared Karpinski score obtained with our algorithm to that obtained with pathologists’ annotations to show the soundness of the proposed workflow from a clinical point of view.

A Deep Learning Instance Segmentation Approach for Global Glomerulosclerosis Assessment in Donor Kidney Biopsies

Nicola Altini;Giacomo Donato Cascarano;Antonio Brunetti;Irio De Feudis;Domenico Buongiorno;Vitoantonio Bevilacqua
2020-01-01

Abstract

The histological assessment of glomeruli is fundamental for determining if a kidney is suitable for transplantation. The Karpinski score is essential to evaluate the need for a single or dual kidney transplant and includes the ratio between the number of sclerotic glomeruli and the overall number of glomeruli in a kidney section. The manual evaluation of kidney biopsies performed by pathologists is time-consuming and error-prone, so an automatic framework to delineate all the glomeruli present in a kidney section can be very useful. Our experiments have been conducted on a dataset provided by the Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantations (DETO) of Bari University Hospital. This dataset is composed of 26 kidney biopsies coming from 19 donors. The rise of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) has led to a realm of methods which are widely applied in Medical Imaging. Deep learning techniques are also very promising for the segmentation of glomeruli, with a variety of existing approaches. Many methods only focus on semantic segmentation—which consists in segmentation of individual pixels—or ignore the problem of discriminating between non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, so these approaches are not optimal or inadequate for transplantation assessment. In this work, we employed an end-to-end fully automatic approach based on Mask R-CNN for instance segmentation and classification of glomeruli. We also compared the results obtained with a baseline based on Faster R-CNN, which only allows detection at bounding boxes level. With respect to the existing literature, we improved the Mask R-CNN approach in sliding window contexts, by employing a variant of the Non-Maximum Suppression (NMS) algorithm, which we called Non-Maximum-Area Suppression (NMAS). The obtained results are very promising, leading to improvements over existing literature. The baseline Faster R-CNN-based approach obtained an F-Measure of 0.904 and 0.667 for non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, respectively. The Mask R-CNN approach has a significant improvement over the baseline, obtaining an F-Measure of 0.925 and 0.777 for non-sclerotic and sclerotic glomeruli, respectively. The proposed method is very promising for the instance segmentation and classification of glomeruli, and allows to make a robust evaluation of global glomerulosclerosis. We also compared Karpinski score obtained with our algorithm to that obtained with pathologists’ annotations to show the soundness of the proposed workflow from a clinical point of view.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
electronics-09-01768 (2).pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 699.48 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
699.48 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11589/207246
Citazioni
  • Scopus 27
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 24
social impact