Binomial classification of pediatric elbow fractures using a deep learning multiview approach emulating radiologist decision making

Jesse C. Rayan, Nakul Reddy, J. Herman Kan, Wei Zhang, Ananth Annapragada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the feasibility of using deep learning with a multiview approach, similar to how a human radiologist reviews multiple images, for binomial classification of acute pediatric elbow radiographic abnormalities. Materials and Methods: A total of 21 456 radiographic studies containing 58 817 images of the elbow and associated radiology reports over the course of a 4-year period from January 2014 through December 2017 at a dedicated children’s hospital were retrospectively retrieved. Mean age was 7.2 years, and 43% were female patients. The studies were binomially classified, based on the reports, as either positive or negative for acute or subacute traumatic abnormality. The studies were randomly divided into a training set containing 20 350 studies and a validation set containing the remaining 1106 studies. A multiview approach was used for the model by combining both a convolutional neural network and recurrent neural network to interpret an entire series of three radiographs together. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results: AUC was 0.95, and accuracy was 88% for the model on the studied dataset. Sensitivity for the model was 91% (536 of 590), while the specificity for the model was 84% (434 of 516). Of 241 supracondylar fractures, one was missed. Of 88 lateral condylar fractures, one was missed. Of 77 elbow effusions without fracture, 15 were missed. Of 184 other abnormalities, 37 were missed. Conclusion: Deep learning can effectively classify acute and nonacute pediatric elbow abnormalities on radiographs in the setting of trauma. A recurrent neural network was used to classify an entire radiographic series, arrive at a decision based on all views, and identify fractures in pediatric patients with variable skeletal immaturity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere180015
JournalRadiology: Artificial Intelligence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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