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Artificial intelligence for the real-time classification of intrapapillary capillary loop patterns in the endoscopic diagnosis of early oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma: A proof-of-concept study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

M Everson, Luis Carlos Garcia-Peraza-Herrera, W Li, I Muntion Luengo, O Ahmad, M Banks, C Magee, D Alzoubaidi, Hm Hsu, D Graham, T Vercauteren, Laurence B Lovat, S Ourselin, S Kashin, Hsiu-po Wang, Wen-lun Wang, Rj Haidry

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number2
Early online date6 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

King's Authors


Background: Intrapapillary capillary loops (IPCLs) represent an endoscopically visible feature of early squamous cell neoplasia (ESCN) which correlate with invasion depth – an important factor in the success of curative endoscopic therapy. IPCLs visualised on magnification endoscopy with Narrow Band Imaging (ME-NBI) can be used to train convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to detect the presence and classify staging of ESCN lesions. Methods: A total of 7046 sequential high-definition ME-NBI images from 17 patients (10 ESCN, 7 normal) were used to train a CNN. IPCL patterns were classified by three expert endoscopists according to the Japanese Endoscopic Society classification. Normal IPCLs were defined as type A, abnormal as B1–3. Matched histology was obtained for all imaged areas. Results: This CNN differentiates abnormal from normal IPCL patterns with 93.7% accuracy (86.2% to 98.3%) and sensitivity and specificity for classifying abnormal IPCL patterns of 89.3% (78.1% to 100%) and 98% (92% to 99.7%), respectively. Our CNN operates in real time with diagnostic prediction times between 26.17 ms and 37.48 ms. Conclusion: Our novel and proof-of-concept application of computer-aided endoscopic diagnosis shows that a CNN can accurately classify IPCL patterns as normal or abnormal. This system could be used as an in vivo, real-time clinical decision support tool for endoscopists assessing and directing local therapy of ESCN.

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