Application of artificial intelligence using convolutional neural networks in determining the invasion depth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Abstract

Objectives

In Japan, endoscopic resection (ER) is often used to treat esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) when invasion depths are diagnosed as EP-SM1, whereas ESCC cases deeper than SM2 are treated by surgical operation or chemoradiotherapy. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the invasion depth of ESCC via preoperative endoscopic examination. Recently, rapid progress in the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) with deep learning in medical fields has been achieved. In this study, we demonstrate the diagnostic ability of AI to measure ESCC invasion depth.

Methods

We retrospectively collected 1751 training images of ESCC at the Cancer Institute Hospital, Japan. We developed an AI-diagnostic system of convolutional neural networks using deep learning techniques with these images. Subsequently, 291 test images were prepared and reviewed by the AI-diagnostic system and 13 board-certified endoscopists to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy.

Results

The AI-diagnostic system detected 95.5% (279/291) of the ESCC in test images in 10 s, analyzed the 279 images and correctly estimated the invasion depth of ESCC with a sensitivity of 84.1% and accuracy of 80.9% in 6 s. The accuracy score of this system exceeded those of 12 out of 13 board-certified endoscopists, and its area under the curve (AUC) was greater than the AUCs of all endoscopists.

Conclusions

The AI-diagnostic system demonstrated a higher diagnostic accuracy for ESCC invasion depth than those of endoscopists and, therefore, can be potentially used in ESCC diagnostics.

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Funding

This study was funded by the Uehara Memorial Foundation.

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Correspondence to Toshiyuki Yoshio.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

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Tomohiro Tada is a shareholder of AI Medical Service Inc.

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Tokai, Y., Yoshio, T., Aoyama, K. et al. Application of artificial intelligence using convolutional neural networks in determining the invasion depth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Esophagus 17, 250–256 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10388-020-00716-x

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Keywords

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Squamous cell carcinoma