Artificial intelligence for identification of focal lesions in intraoperative liver ultrasonography

Yiftach Barash, Eyal Klang, Adar Lux, Eli Konen, Nir Horesh, Ron Pery, Nadav Zilka, Rony Eshkenazy, Ido Nachmany, Niv Pencovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intraoperative ultrasonography (IOUS) of the liver is a crucial adjunct in every liver resection and may significantly impact intraoperative surgical decisions. However, IOUS is highly operator dependent and has a steep learning curve. We describe the design and assessment of an artificial intelligence (AI) system to identify focal liver lesions in IOUS. Methods: IOUS images were collected during liver resections performed between November 2020 and November 2021. The images were labeled by radiologists and surgeons as normal liver tissue versus images that contain liver lesions. A convolutional neural network (CNN) was trained and tested to classify images based on the labeling. Algorithm performance was tested in terms of area under the curves (AUCs), accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, F1 score, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value. Results: Overall, the dataset included 5043 IOUS images from 16 patients. Of these, 2576 were labeled as normal liver tissue and 2467 as containing focal liver lesions. Training and testing image sets were taken from different patients. Network performance area under the curve (AUC) was 80.2 ± 2.9%, and the overall classification accuracy was 74.6% ± 3.1%. For maximal sensitivity of 99%, the classification specificity is 36.4 ± 9.4%. Conclusions: This study provides for the first time a proof of concept for the use of AI in IOUS and show that high accuracy can be achieved. Further studies using high volume data are warranted to increase accuracy and differentiate between lesion types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3553-3560
Number of pages8
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep learning
  • Hepatectomy
  • Machine learning
  • Neural networks
  • Ultrasonic diagnosis


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