BACKGROUND & AIMS: We aimed to develop and validate a deep-learning computer-aided detection (CAD) system, suitable for use in real time in clinical practice, to improve endoscopic detection of early neoplasia in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE).
METHODS: We developed a hybrid ResNet-UNet model CAD system using 5 independent endoscopy data sets. We performed pretraining using 494,364 labeled endoscopic images collected from all intestinal segments. Then, we used 1704 unique esophageal high-resolution images of rigorously confirmed early-stage neoplasia in BE and nondysplastic BE, derived from 669 patients. System performance was assessed by using data sets 4 and 5. Data set 5 was also scored by 53 general endoscopists with a wide range of experience from 4 countries to benchmark CAD system performance. Coupled with histopathology findings, scoring of images that contained early-stage neoplasia in data sets 2-5 were delineated in detail for neoplasm position and extent by multiple experts whose evaluations served as the ground truth for segmentation.
RESULTS: The CAD system classified images as containing neoplasms or nondysplastic BE with 89% accuracy, 90% sensitivity, and 88% specificity (data set 4, 80 patients and images). In data set 5 (80 patients and images) values for the CAD system vs those of the general endoscopists were 88% vs 73% accuracy, 93% vs 72% sensitivity, and 83% vs 74% specificity. The CAD system achieved higher accuracy than any of the individual 53 nonexpert endoscopists, with comparable delineation performance. CAD delineations of the area of neoplasm overlapped with those from the BE experts in all detected neoplasia in data sets 4 and 5. The CAD system identified the optimal site for biopsy of detected neoplasia in 97% and 92% of cases (data sets 4 and 5, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: We developed, validated, and benchmarked a deep-learning computer-aided system for primary detection of neoplasia in patients with BE. The system detected neoplasia with high accuracy and near-perfect delineation performance. The Netherlands National Trials Registry, Number: NTR7072.