Application of convolutional neural network in the diagnosis of the invasion depth of gastric cancer based on conventional endoscopy

Gastrointest Endosc. 2019 Apr;89(4):806-815.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2018.11.011. Epub 2018 Nov 16.


Background and aims: According to guidelines, endoscopic resection should only be performed for patients whose early gastric cancer invasion depth is within the mucosa or submucosa of the stomach regardless of lymph node involvement. The accurate prediction of invasion depth based on endoscopic images is crucial for screening patients for endoscopic resection. We constructed a convolutional neural network computer-aided detection (CNN-CAD) system based on endoscopic images to determine invasion depth and screen patients for endoscopic resection.

Methods: Endoscopic images of gastric cancer tumors were obtained from the Endoscopy Center of Zhongshan Hospital. An artificial intelligence-based CNN-CAD system was developed through transfer learning leveraging a state-of-the-art pretrained CNN architecture, ResNet50. A total of 790 images served as a development dataset and another 203 images as a test dataset. We used the CNN-CAD system to determine the invasion depth of gastric cancer and evaluated the system's classification accuracy by calculating its sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.

Results: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the CNN-CAD system was .94 (95% confidence interval [CI], .90-.97). At a threshold value of .5, sensitivity was 76.47%, and specificity 95.56%. Overall accuracy was 89.16%. Positive and negative predictive values were 89.66% and 88.97%, respectively. The CNN-CAD system achieved significantly higher accuracy (by 17.25%; 95% CI, 11.63-22.59) and specificity (by 32.21%; 95% CI, 26.78-37.44) than human endoscopists.

Conclusions: We constructed a CNN-CAD system to determine the invasion depth of gastric cancer with high accuracy and specificity. This system distinguished early gastric cancer from deeper submucosal invasion and minimized overestimation of invasion depth, which could reduce unnecessary gastrectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / surgery
  • Gastroscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serous Membrane / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery