Evaluation of emphysema on thoracic low-dose CTs through attention-based multiple instance deep learning

Jordan Fuhrman, Rowena Yip, Yeqing Zhu, Artit C. Jirapatnakul, Feng Li, Claudia I. Henschke, David F. Yankelevitz, Maryellen L. Giger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In addition to lung cancer, other thoracic abnormalities, such as emphysema, can be visualized within low-dose CT scans that were initially obtained in cancer screening programs, and thus, opportunistic evaluation of these diseases may be highly valuable. However, manual assessment for each scan is tedious and often subjective, thus we have developed an automatic, rapid computer-aided diagnosis system for emphysema using attention-based multiple instance deep learning and 865 LDCTs. In the task of determining if a CT scan presented with emphysema or not, our novel Transfer AMIL approach yielded an area under the ROC curve of 0.94 ± 0.04, which was a statistically significant improvement compared to other methods evaluated in our study following the Delong Test with correction for multiple comparisons. Further, from our novel attention weight curves, we found that the upper lung demonstrated a stronger influence in all scan classes, indicating that the model prioritized upper lobe information. Overall, our novel Transfer AMIL method yielded high performance and provided interpretable information by identifying slices that were most influential to the classification decision, thus demonstrating strong potential for clinical implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1187
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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