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    Accurate ultrasound (US) image segmentation is crucial for the screening and diagnosis of diseases. However, it faces two significant challenges: 1) pixel-level annotation is a time-consuming and laborious process; 2) the presence of shadow artifacts leads to missing anatomy and ambiguous boundaries, which negatively impact reliable segmentation results. To address these challenges, we propose a novel semi-supervised shadow aware network with boundary refinement (SABR-Net). Specifically, we add shadow imitation regions to the original US, and design shadow-masked transformer blocks to perceive missing anatomy of shadow regions. Shadow-masked transformer block contains an adaptive shadow attention mechanism that introduces an adaptive mask, which is updated automatically to promote the network training. Additionally, we utilize unlabeled US images to train a missing structure inpainting path with shadow-masked transformer, which further facilitates semi-supervised segmentation. Experiments on two public US datasets demonstrate the superior performance of the SABR-Net over other state-of-the-art semi-supervised segmentation methods. In addition, experiments on a private breast US dataset prove that our method has a good generalization to clinical small-scale US datasets.


    Fang Chen, Lingyu Chen, Wentao Kong, Weijing Zhang, Pengfei Zheng, Liang Sun, Daoqiang Zhang, Hongen Liao. Deep Semi-Supervised Ultrasound Image Segmentation by Using a Shadow Aware Network with Boundary Refinement. IEEE transactions on medical imaging. 2023 Sep 11;PP

    PMID: 37695964

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