Automatic detection of crohn disease in wireless capsule endoscopic images using a deep convolutional neural network

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The diagnosis of Crohn's disease (CD) in the small bowel is generally performed by observing a very large number of images captured by capsule endoscopy (CE). This diagnostic technique entails a heavy workload for the specialists in terms of time spent reviewing the images. This paper presents a convolutional neural network capable of classifying the CE images to identify those ones affected by lesions indicative of the disease. The architecture of the proposed network was custom designed to solve this image classification problem. This allowed different design decisions to be made with the aim of improving its performance in terms of accuracy and processing speed compared to other state-of-the-art deep-learning-based reference architectures. The experimentation was carried out on a set of 15,972 images extracted from 31 CE videos of patients affected by CD, 7,986 of which showed lesions associated with the disease. The training, validation/selection and evaluation of the network was performed on 70%, 10% and 20% of the total images, respectively. The ROC curve obtained on the test image set has an area greater than 0.997, with points in a 95-99% sensitivity range associated with specificities of 99-96%. These figures are higher than those achieved by EfficientNet-B5, VGG-16, Xception or ResNet networks which also require an average processing time per image significantly higher than the one needed in the proposed architecture. Therefore, the network outlined in this paper is proving to be sufficiently promising to be considered for integration into tools used by specialists in their diagnosis of CD. In the sample of images analysed, the network was able to detect 99% of the images with lesions, filtering out for specialist review 96% of those with no signs of disease.
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Convolutional neural network, Capsule endoscopy, Crohn disease, Deep learning, Small-bowel, Segmentation