Researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can detect and identify different types of brain injuries.
AI successfully used to identify different types of brain injuries
The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, have clinically validated and tested the AI on large sets of CT scans and found that it was successfully able to detect, segment, quantify and differentiate different types of brain lesions.
Their results, reported in The Lancet Digital Health, could be useful in large-scale research studies, for developing more personalised treatments for head injuries and, with further validation, could be useful in certain clinical scenarios, such as those where radiological expertise is at a premium.
Head injury is a huge public health burden around the world and affects up to 60 million people each year. It is the leading cause of mortality in young adults. When a patient has had a head injury, they are usually sent for a CT scan to check for blood in or around the brain, and to help determine whether surgery is required.
“CT is an incredibly important diagnostic tool, but it’s rarely used quantitatively,” said co-senior author Professor David Menon, from Cambridge’s Department of Medicine. “Often, much of the rich information available in a CT scan is missed, and as researchers, we know that the type, volume and location of a lesion on the brain are important to patient outcomes.”
Different types of blood in or around the brain can lead to different patient outcomes, and radiologists will often make estimates in order to determine the best course of treatment.
“Detailed assessment of a CT scan with annotations can take hours, especially in patients with more severe injuries,” said co-first author Dr Virginia Newcombe, also from Cambridge’s Department of Medicine. “We wanted to design and develop a tool that could automatically identify and quantify the different types of brain lesions so that we could use it in research and explore its possible use in a hospital setting.”
The researchers developed a machine learning tool based on an artificial neural network. They trained the tool on more than 600 different CT scans, showing brain lesions of different sizes and types. They then validated the tool on an existing large dataset of CT scans.
Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.