Automated Classification of Colorectal Neoplasms in White-Light Colonoscopy Images via Deep Learning
J. Clin. Med.2020, 9(5), 1593
Background: Classification of colorectal neoplasms during colonoscopic examination is important to avoid unnecessary endoscopic biopsy or resection. This study aimed to develop and validate deep learning models that automatically classify colorectal lesions histologically on white-light colonoscopy images. Methods: White-light colonoscopy images of colorectal lesions exhibiting pathological results were collected and classified into seven categories: stages T1-4 colorectal cancer (CRC), high-grade dysplasia (HGD), tubular adenoma (TA), and non-neoplasms. The images were then re-classified into four categories including advanced CRC, early CRC/HGD, TA, and non-neoplasms. Two convolutional neural network models were trained, and the performances were evaluated in an internal test dataset and an external validation dataset. Results: In total, 3828 images were collected from 1339 patients. The mean accuracies of ResNet-152 model for the seven-category and four-category classification were 60.2% and 67.3% in the internal test dataset, and 74.7% and 79.2% in the external validation dataset, respectively, including 240 images. In the external validation, ResNet-152 outperformed two endoscopists for four-category classification, and showed a higher mean area under the curve (AUC) for detecting TA+ lesions (0.818) compared to the worst-performing endoscopist. The mean AUC for detecting HGD+ lesions reached 0.876 by Inception-ResNet-v2. Conclusions: A deep learning model presented promising performance in classifying colorectal lesions on white-light colonoscopy images; this model could help endoscopists build optimal treatment strategies.