Automated Lateral Ventricular and Cranial Vault Volume Measurements in 13,851 Patients Using Deep Learning Algorithms
Background: No large dataset-derived standard has been established for normal or pathologic human cerebral ventricular and cranial vault volumes. Automated volumetric measurements could be used to assist in diagnosis and follow-up of hydrocephalus or craniofacial syndromes. In this work, we use deep learning algorithms to measure ventricular and cranial vault volumes in a large dataset of head computed tomography (CT) scans.
Methods: A cross-sectional dataset comprising 13,851 CT scans was used to deploy U-Net deep learning networks to segment and quantify lateral cerebral ventricular and cranial vault volumes in relation to age and sex. The models were validated against manual segmentations. Corresponding radiologic reports were annotated using a rule-based natural language processing framework to identify normal scans, cerebral atrophy, or hydrocephalus.
Results: U-Net models had high fidelity to manual segmentations for lateral ventricular and cranial vault volume measurements (Dice index, 0.878 and 0.983, respectively). The natural language processing identified 6239 (44.7%) normal radiologic reports, 1827 (13.1%) with cerebral atrophy, and 1185 (8.5%) with hydrocephalus. Age-based and sex-based reference tables with medians, 25th and 75th percentiles for scans classified as normal, atrophy, and hydrocephalus were constructed. The median lateral ventricular volume in normal scans was significantly smaller compared with hydrocephalus (15.7 vs. 82.0 mL; P < 0.001).
Conclusions: This is the first study to measure lateral ventricular and cranial vault volumes in a large dataset, made possible with artificial intelligence. We provide a robust method to establish normal values for these volumes and a tool to report these on CT scans when evaluating for hydrocephalus.