The aim of the study was to use a previously proposed mask region-based convolutional neural network (Mask R-CNN) for automatic abnormal liver density detection and segmentation based on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) computed tomography (CT) datasets from a radiological perspective. Training and testing datasets were acquired retrospectively from two hospitals of Taiwan. The training dataset contained 10,130 images of liver tumor densities of 11,258 regions of interest (ROIs). The positive testing dataset contained 1,833 images of liver tumor densities with 1,874 ROIs, and negative testing data comprised 20,283 images without abnormal densities in liver parenchyma. The Mask R-CNN was used to generate a medical model, and areas under the curve, true positive rates, false positive rates, and Dice coefficients were evaluated. For abnormal liver CT density detection, in each image, we identified the mean area under the curve, true positive rate, and false positive rate, which were 0.9490, 91.99%, and 13.68%, respectively. For segmentation ability, the highest mean Dice coefficient obtained was 0.8041. This study trained a Mask R-CNN on various HCC images to construct a medical model that serves as an auxiliary tool for alerting radiologists to abnormal CT density in liver scans; this model can simultaneously detect liver lesions and perform automatic instance segmentation.
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