## Deep learning-based cardiac cine segmentation: Transfer learning application to 7T ultrahigh-field MRI

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-257604
• Purpose Artificial neural networks show promising performance in automatic segmentation of cardiac MRI. However, training requires large amounts of annotated data and generalization to different vendors, field strengths, sequence parameters, and pathologies is limited. Transfer learning addresses this challenge, but specific recommendations regarding type and amount of data required is lacking. In this study, we assess data requirements for transfer learning to experimental cardiac MRI at 7T where the segmentation task can be challenging. InPurpose Artificial neural networks show promising performance in automatic segmentation of cardiac MRI. However, training requires large amounts of annotated data and generalization to different vendors, field strengths, sequence parameters, and pathologies is limited. Transfer learning addresses this challenge, but specific recommendations regarding type and amount of data required is lacking. In this study, we assess data requirements for transfer learning to experimental cardiac MRI at 7T where the segmentation task can be challenging. In addition, we provide guidelines, tools, and annotated data to enable transfer learning approaches by other researchers and clinicians. Methods A publicly available segmentation model was used to annotate a publicly available data set. This labeled data set was subsequently used to train a neural network for segmentation of left ventricle and myocardium in cardiac cine MRI. The network is used as starting point for transfer learning to 7T cine data of healthy volunteers (n = 22; 7873 images) by updating the pre-trained weights. Structured and random data subsets of different sizes were used to systematically assess data requirements for successful transfer learning. Results Inconsistencies in the publically available data set were corrected, labels created, and a neural network trained. On 7T cardiac cine images the model pre-trained on public imaging data, acquired at 1.5T and 3T, achieved DICE$$_{LV}$$ = 0.835 and DICE$$_{MY}$$ = 0.670. Transfer learning using 7T cine data and ImageNet weight initialization improved model performance to DICE$$_{LV}$$ = 0.900 and DICE$$_{MY}$$ = 0.791. Using only end-systolic and end-diastolic images reduced training data by 90%, with no negative impact on segmentation performance (DICE$$_{LV}$$ = 0.908, DICE$$_{MY}$$ = 0.805). Conclusions This work demonstrates and quantifies the benefits of transfer learning for cardiac cine image segmentation. We provide practical guidelines for researchers planning transfer learning projects in cardiac MRI and make data, models, and code publicly available.