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Deep learning using convolutional neural networks represents a form of artificial intelligence where computers recognise patterns and make predictions based upon provided datasets. This study aimed to determine if a convolutional neural network could be trained to differentiate the location of the anterior ethmoidal artery as either adhered to the skull base or within a bone ‘mesentery’ on sinus computed tomography scans.
Coronal sinus computed tomography scans were reviewed by two otolaryngology residents for anterior ethmoidal artery location and used as data for the Google Inception-V3 convolutional neural network base. The classification layer of Inception-V3 was retrained in Python (programming language software) using a transfer learning method to interpret the computed tomography images.
A total of 675 images from 388 patients were used to train the convolutional neural network. A further 197 unique images were used to test the algorithm; this yielded a total accuracy of 82.7 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 77.7–87.8), kappa statistic of 0.62 and area under the curve of 0.86.
Convolutional neural networks demonstrate promise in identifying clinically important structures in functional endoscopic sinus surgery, such as anterior ethmoidal artery location on pre-operative sinus computed tomography.
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