Introduction of a cascaded segmentation pipeline for parametric T1 mapping in cardiovascular magnetic resonance to improve segmentation performance


  • D. Viezzer
  • T. Hadler
  • C. Ammann
  • E. Blaszczyk
  • M. Fenski
  • T.H. Grandy
  • J. Wetzl
  • S. Lange
  • J. Schulz-Menger


  • Scientific Reports


  • Sci Rep 13 (1): 2103


  • The manual and often time-consuming segmentation of the myocardium in cardiovascular magnetic resonance is increasingly automated using convolutional neural networks (CNNs). This study proposes a cascaded segmentation (CASEG) approach to improve automatic image segmentation quality. First, an object detection algorithm predicts a bounding box (BB) for the left ventricular myocardium whose 1.5 times enlargement defines the region of interest (ROI). Then, the ROI image section is fed into a U-Net based segmentation. Two CASEG variants were evaluated: one using the ROI cropped image solely (cropU) and the other using a 2-channel-image additionally containing the original BB image section (crinU). Both were compared to a classical U-Net segmentation (refU). All networks share the same hyperparameters and were tested on basal and midventricular slices of native and contrast enhanced (CE) MOLLI T1 maps. Dice Similarity Coefficient improved significantly (p < 0.05) in cropU and crinU compared to refU (81.06%, 81.22%, 72.79% for native and 80.70%, 79.18%, 71.41% for CE data), while no significant improvement (p < 0.05) was achieved in the mean absolute error of the T1 time (11.94 ms, 12.45 ms, 14.22 ms for native and 5.32 ms, 6.07 ms, 5.89 ms for CE data). In conclusion, CASEG provides an improved geometric concordance but needs further improvement in the quantitative outcome.