Deep embedding convolutional neural network for synthesizing CT image from T1-Weighted MR image

Lei Xiang, Qian Wang, Dong Nie, Lichi Zhang, Xiyao Jin, Yu Qiao, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, more and more attention is drawn to the field of medical image synthesis across modalities. Among them, the synthesis of computed tomography (CT) image from T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) image is of great importance, although the mapping between them is highly complex due to large gaps of appearances of the two modalities. In this work, we aim to tackle this MR-to-CT synthesis task by a novel deep embedding convolutional neural network (DECNN). Specifically, we generate the feature maps from MR images, and then transform these feature maps forward through convolutional layers in the network. We can further compute a tentative CT synthesis from the midway of the flow of feature maps, and then embed this tentative CT synthesis result back to the feature maps. This embedding operation results in better feature maps, which are further transformed forward in DECNN. After repeating this embedding procedure for several times in the network, we can eventually synthesize a final CT image in the end of the DECNN. We have validated our proposed method on both brain and prostate imaging datasets, by also comparing with the state-of-the-art methods. Experimental results suggest that our DECNN (with repeated embedding operations) demonstrates its superior performances, in terms of both the perceptive quality of the synthesized CT image and the run-time cost for synthesizing a CT image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0107600), National Natural Science Foundation of China (61473190, 81471733, 61401271), Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (16511101100, 16410722400). This work was also supproted in part by NIH grants (EB006733, CA206100, AG053867).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Deep convolutional neural network
  • Embedding block
  • Image synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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