A clinically interpretable convolutional neural network for the real-time prediction of early squamous cell cancer of the esophagus: comparing diagnostic performance with a panel of expert European and Asian endoscopists

Martin A. Everson*, Luis Garcia-Peraza-Herrera, Hsiu Po Wang, Ching Tai Lee, Chen Shuan Chung, Ping Hsin Hsieh, Chien Chuan Chen, Cheng Hao Tseng, Ming Hung Hsu, Tom Vercauteren, Sebastien Ourselin, Sergey Kashin, Raf Bisschops, Oliver Pech, Laurence Lovat, Wen Lun Wang, Rehan J. Haidry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Aims: Intrapapillary capillary loops (IPCLs) are microvascular structures that correlate with the invasion depth of early squamous cell neoplasia and allow accurate prediction of histology. Artificial intelligence may improve human recognition of IPCL patterns and prediction of histology to allow prompt access to endoscopic therapy for early squamous cell neoplasia where appropriate. Methods: One hundred fifteen patients were recruited at 2 academic Taiwanese hospitals. Magnification endoscopy narrow-band imaging videos of squamous mucosa were labeled as dysplastic or normal according to their histology, and IPCL patterns were classified by consensus of 3 experienced clinicians. A convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained to classify IPCLs, using 67,742 high-quality magnification endoscopy narrow-band images by 5-fold cross validation. Performance measures were calculated to give an average F1 score, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. A panel of 5 Asian and 4 European experts predicted the histology of a random selection of 158 images using the Japanese Endoscopic Society IPCL classification; accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated. Results: Expert European Union (EU) and Asian endoscopists attained F1 scores (a measure of binary classification accuracy) of 97.0% and 98%, respectively. Sensitivity and accuracy of the EU and Asian clinicians were 97%, 98% and 96.9%, 97.1%, respectively. The CNN average F1 score was 94%, sensitivity 93.7%, and accuracy 91.7%. Our CNN operates at video rate and generates class activation maps that can be used to visually validate CNN predictions. Conclusions: We report a clinically interpretable CNN developed to predict histology based on IPCL patterns, in real time, using the largest reported dataset of images for this purpose. Our CNN achieved diagnostic performance comparable with an expert panel of endoscopists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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