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Deeplasia: deep learning for bone age assessment validated on skeletal dysplasias.

Pediatric radiology

Authors: Sebastian Rassmann, Alexandra Keller, Kyra Skaf, Alexander Hustinx, Ruth Gausche, Miguel A Ibarra-Arrelano, Tzung-Chien Hsieh, Yolande E D Madajieu, Markus M Nöthen, Roland Pfäffle, Ulrike I Attenberger, Mark Born, Klaus Mohnike, Peter M Krawitz, Behnam Javanmardi

BACKGROUND: Skeletal dysplasias collectively affect a large number of patients worldwide. Most of these disorders cause growth anomalies. Hence, evaluating skeletal maturity via the determination of bone age (BA) is a useful tool. Moreover, consecutive BA measurements are crucial for monitoring the growth of patients with such disorders, especially for timing hormonal treatment or orthopedic interventions. However, manual BA assessment is time-consuming and suffers from high intra- and inter-rater variability. This is further exacerbated by genetic disorders causing severe skeletal malformations. While numerous approaches to automate BA assessment have been proposed, few are validated for BA assessment on children with skeletal dysplasias.

OBJECTIVE: We present Deeplasia, an open-source prior-free deep-learning approach designed for BA assessment specifically validated on patients with skeletal dysplasias.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We trained multiple convolutional neural network models under various conditions and selected three to build a precise model ensemble. We utilized the public BA dataset from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) consisting of training, validation, and test subsets containing 12,611, 1,425, and 200 hand and wrist radiographs, respectively. For testing the performance of our model ensemble on dysplastic hands, we retrospectively collected 568 radiographs from 189 patients with molecularly confirmed diagnoses of seven different genetic bone disorders including achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia. A subset of the dysplastic cohort (149 images) was used to estimate the test-retest precision of our model ensemble on longitudinal data.

RESULTS: The mean absolute difference of Deeplasia for the RSNA test set (based on the average of six different reference ratings) and dysplastic set (based on the average of two different reference ratings) were 3.87 and 5.84 months, respectively. The test-retest precision of Deeplasia on longitudinal data (2.74 months) is estimated to be similar to a human expert.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that Deeplasia is competent in assessing the age and monitoring the development of both normal and dysplastic bones.

© 2023. The Author(s).

PMID: 37953411

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