A calibrated deep learning ensemble for abnormality detection in musculoskeletal radiographs
Musculoskeletal disorders affect the locomotor system and are the leading contributor to disability worldwide. Patients suffer chronic pain and limitations in mobility, dexterity, and functional ability. Musculoskeletal (bone) X-ray is an essential tool in diagnosing the abnormalities. In recent years, deep learning algorithms have increasingly been applied in musculoskeletal radiology and have produced remarkable results. In our study, we introduce a new calibrated ensemble of deep learners
... the task of identifying abnormal musculoskeletal radiographs. Our model leverages the strengths of three baseline deep neural networks (ConvNet, ResNet, and DenseNet), which are typically employed either directly or as the backbone architecture in the existing deep learning-based approaches in this domain. Experimental results based on the public MURA dataset demonstrate that our proposed model outperforms three individual models and a traditional ensemble learner, achieving an overall performance of (AUC: 0.93, Accuracy: 0.87, Precision: 0.93, Recall: 0.81, Cohen's kappa: 0.74). The model also outperforms expert radiologists in three out of the seven upper extremity anatomical regions with a leading performance of (AUC: 0.97, Accuracy: 0.93, Precision: 0.90, Recall:0.97, Cohen's kappa: 0.85) in the humerus region. We further apply the class activation map technique to highlight the areas essential to our model's decision-making process. Given that the best radiologist performance is between 0.73 and 0.78 in Cohen's kappa statistic, our study provides convincing results supporting the utility of a calibrated ensemble approach for assessing abnormalities in musculoskeletal X-rays.