Orthogonal Annotation Benefits Barely-Supervised Medical Image Segmentation

Heng Cai · Shumeng Li · Lei Qi · Qian Yu · Yinghuan Shi · Yang Gao

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 314


Recent trends in semi-supervised learning have significantly boosted the performance of 3D semi-supervised medical image segmentation. Compared with 2D images, 3D medical volumes involve information from different directions, e.g., transverse, sagittal, and coronal planes, so as to naturally provide complementary views. These complementary views and the intrinsic similarity among adjacent 3D slices inspire us to develop a novel annotation way and its corresponding semi-supervised model for effective segmentation. Specifically, we firstly propose the orthogonal annotation by only labeling two orthogonal slices in a labeled volume, which significantly relieves the burden of annotation. Then, we perform registration to obtain the initial pseudo labels for sparsely labeled volumes. Subsequently, by introducing unlabeled volumes, we propose a dual-network paradigm named Dense-Sparse Co-training (DeSCO) that exploits dense pseudo labels in early stage and sparse labels in later stage and meanwhile forces consistent output of two networks. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets validated our effectiveness in performance and efficiency in annotation. For example, with only 10 annotated slices, our method reaches a Dice up to 86.93% on KiTS19 dataset.

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