Automated fracture screening using an object detection algorithm on whole-body trauma computed tomography

Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 3;12(1):16549. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-20996-w.


The emergency department is an environment with a potential risk for diagnostic errors during trauma care, particularly for fractures. Convolutional neural network (CNN) deep learning methods are now widely used in medicine because they improve diagnostic accuracy, decrease misinterpretation, and improve efficiency. In this study, we investigated whether automatic localization and classification using CNN could be applied to pelvic, rib, and spine fractures. We also examined whether this fracture detection algorithm could help physicians in fracture diagnosis. A total of 7664 whole-body CT axial slices (chest, abdomen, pelvis) from 200 patients were used. Sensitivity, precision, and F1-score were calculated to evaluate the performance of the CNN model. For the grouped mean values for pelvic, spine, or rib fractures, the sensitivity was 0.786, precision was 0.648, and F1-score was 0.711. Moreover, with CNN model assistance, surgeons showed improved sensitivity for detecting fractures and the time of reading and interpreting CT scans was reduced, especially for less experienced orthopedic surgeons. Application of the CNN model may lead to reductions in missed fractures from whole-body CT images and to faster workflows and improved patient care through efficient diagnosis in polytrauma patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Pelvis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rib Fractures*
  • Spinal Fractures*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods