Convolutional Neural Networks for Fully Automated Diagnosis of Cardiac Amyloidosis by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

J Pers Med. 2021 Dec 1;11(12):1268. doi: 10.3390/jpm11121268.


Aims: We tested the hypothesis that artificial intelligence (AI)-powered algorithms applied to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images could be able to detect the potential patterns of cardiac amyloidosis (CA). Readers in CMR centers with a low volume of referrals for the detection of myocardial storage diseases or a low volume of CMRs, in general, may overlook CA. In light of the growing prevalence of the disease and emerging therapeutic options, there is an urgent need to avoid misdiagnoses.

Methods and results: Using CMR data from 502 patients (CA: n = 82), we trained convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to automatically diagnose patients with CA. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of different state-of-the-art deep learning techniques on common CMR imaging protocols in detecting imaging patterns associated with CA. As a result of a 10-fold cross-validated evaluation, the best-performing fine-tuned CNN achieved an average ROC AUC score of 0.96, resulting in a diagnostic accuracy of 94% sensitivity and 90% specificity.

Conclusions: Applying AI to CMR to diagnose CA may set a remarkable milestone in an attempt to establish a fully computational diagnostic path for the diagnosis of CA, in order to support the complex diagnostic work-up requiring a profound knowledge of experts from different disciplines.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; cardiac amyloidosis; diagnostic ability; heart failure.