Automated semantic labeling of pediatric musculoskeletal radiographs using deep learning

Paul H. Yi, Tae Kyung Kim, Jinchi Wei, Jiwon Shin, Ferdinand K. Hui, Haris I. Sair, Gregory D. Hager, Jan Fritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: An automated method for identifying the anatomical region of an image independent of metadata labels could improve radiologist workflow (e.g., automated hanging protocols) and help facilitate the automated curation of large medical imaging data sets for machine learning purposes. Deep learning is a potential tool for this purpose. Objective: To develop and test the performance of deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN) for the automated classification of pediatric musculoskeletal radiographs by anatomical area. Materials and methods: We utilized a database of 250 pediatric bone radiographs (50 each of the shoulder, elbow, hand, pelvis and knee) to train 5 DCNNs, one to detect each anatomical region amongst the others, based on ResNet-18 pretrained on ImageNet (transfer learning). For each DCNN, the radiographs were randomly split into training (64%), validation (12%) and test (24%) data sets. The training and validation data sets were augmented 30 times using standard preprocessing methods. We also tested our DCNNs on a separate test set of 100 radiographs from a single institution. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) with area under the curve (AUC) were used to evaluate DCNN performances. Results: All five DCNN trained for classification of the radiographs into anatomical region achieved ROC AUC of 1, respectively, for both test sets. Classification of the test radiographs occurred at a rate of 33 radiographs per s. Conclusion: DCNNs trained on a small set of images with 30 times augmentation through standard processing techniques are able to automatically classify pediatric musculoskeletal radiographs into anatomical region with near-perfect to perfect accuracy at superhuman speeds. This concept may apply to other body parts and radiographic views with the potential to create an all-encompassing semantic-labeling DCNN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1066-1070
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Children
  • Deep learning
  • Machine learning
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Radiography
  • Semantic labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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