Accurate Lung Nodule Segmentation With Detailed Representation Transfer and Soft Mask Supervision.

IEEE transactions on neural networks and learning systems(2023)

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Accurate lung lesion segmentation from computed tomography (CT) images is crucial to the analysis and diagnosis of lung diseases, such as COVID-19 and lung cancer. However, the smallness and variety of lung nodules and the lack of high-quality labeling make the accurate lung nodule segmentation difficult. To address these issues, we first introduce a novel segmentation mask named "soft mask", which has richer and more accurate edge details description and better visualization, and develop a universal automatic soft mask annotation pipeline to deal with different datasets correspondingly. Then, a novel network with detailed representation transfer and soft mask supervision (DSNet) is proposed to process the input low-resolution images of lung nodules into high-quality segmentation results. Our DSNet contains a special detailed representation transfer module (DRTM) for reconstructing the detailed representation to alleviate the small size of lung nodules images and an adversarial training framework with soft mask for further improving the accuracy of segmentation. Extensive experiments validate that our DSNet outperforms other state-of-the-art methods for accurate lung nodule segmentation, and has strong generalization ability in other accurate medical segmentation tasks with competitive results. Besides, we provide a new challenging lung nodules segmentation dataset for further studies ( TH1Oi1wm/view?usp=sharing).
detailed representation transfer,lung,segmentation,mask
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