Elisabeth Gabler

Elisabeth Gabler

Bachelor's Thesis

Fetal Re-Identification: Deep Learning on Pregnancy Ultrasound Images

Michael Nissen (M.Sc.), Thomas Altstidl (M.Sc.), Dr.-Ing. Heike Leutheuser, Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier, Dr. med. Adriana Titzmann

05 / 2022 – 10 / 2022


Accurate analysis of ultrasound images during pregnancy is important for monitoring fetal development and detecting abnormalities. For better accuracy and time convenience, the help of artificial intelligence or accordingly deep learning is useful [1]. However, currently there is less research in deep learning in the field of ultrasound imaging compared to MRI or CT images [2].

Considering its non-invasive nature, lower cost, and lower risk to patients compared to other modalities such as MRI or CT, ultrasound imaging is the most commonly used method to assess fetal development and maternal health [3]. Overall, the correct acquisition of fetal ultrasound data is difficult and time-consuming. Deep Learning can help to reduce examiner dependence, and improve analysis as well as maternal-fetal medicine in general [1].

Although literature on fetal ultrasound imaging in conjunction with deep learning exists [4-6], little previous work investigated fetal re-identification. In multiple pregnancies with fetuses of the same sex or early in pregnancy, the fetuses cannot be distinguished. Therefore, the fetuses are assigned an order at physician descretion (usually based on position in the mother’s womb), although it is not clear whether this order preserves during subsequent examinations. However, this information is important because the risk of fetal abnormalities is greater in multiple pregnancies than in singleton pregnancies [7]. In addition, a good representation of the fetus is also eminent for the emotional connect of the parents [8].

Consequently, the aim of this thesis is an early feasibility investigation of re-identification approaches in fetal ultrasound.

[1] J. Weichert, A. Rody, and M. Gembicki. Zukünftige Bildanalyse mit Hilfe automatisierter Algorithmen. Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, 2020.
[2] Xavier P. Burgos-Artizzu, David Coronado-Guiérrez, Brenda Valenzuela-Alcaraz, Elisenda Bonet-Carne, Elisenda Eixarch, Fatima Crispi, and Eduard Gratacos. Evaluation of deep convolutional neural networks for automatic classification of common maternal fetal ultrasound planes. nature scientific reports, 2020.
[3] D. Selvathi and R. Chandralekha. Fetal biometric based abnormality detection during prenatal development using deep learning techniques. Springer, 2021.
[4] Jan Weichert, Amrei Welp, Jann Lennard Scharf, Christoph Dracopoulos, chim Rody, and Michael Gembicki. Künstliche Intelligenz in der pränatalen kardialen Diagnostik. page 10, 2021.
[5] Christian F. Baumgartner, Konstantinos Kamnitsas, Jacqueline Matthew, Tara P. Fletcher, Sandra Smith, Lisa M. Koch, Bernhard Kainz, and Daniel Rueckert. SonoNet: Real-Time Detection and Localisation of Fetal Standard Scan Planes in Freehand Ultrasound. page 12, 2017.
[6] Juan C. Prieto, Hina Shah, Alan J. rosenbaum, Xiaoning Jiang, Patrick Musonda, Joan T. Price, Elizabeth M. Stringer, Bellington Vwalika, David M. Stamilio, and Jeffrey S. A. Stringer. An automated framework for image classification and segmentation of fetal ultrasound images for gestational age estimation. page 11, 2021.
[7] R Townsend and A Khalil. Ultrasound surveillance in twin pregnancy: An update for practitioners. Ultrasound, 2018.
[8] Tejal Singh, Srinivas Rao Kudavelly, and Venkata Suryanarayana. Deep Learning Based Fetal Face Detection And Visualization In Prenatal Ultrasound. 2021.