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Fully automated endoscopic disease activity assessment in ulcerative colitis.

Yao H, Najarian K, Gryak J, Bishu S, Rice MD, Waljee AK, Wilkins HJ, Stidham RW. Fully automated endoscopic disease activity assessment in ulcerative colitis. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. 2021 Mar 1; 93(3):728-736.e1.

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Endoscopy is essential for disease assessment in ulcerative colitis (UC), but subjectivity threatens accuracy and precision. We aimed to pilot a fully automated video analysis system for grading endoscopic disease in UC. METHODS: A developmental set of high-resolution UC endoscopic videos were assigned Mayo endoscopic scores (MESs) provided by 2 experienced reviewers. Video still-image stacks were annotated for image quality (informativeness) and MES. Models to predict still-image informativeness and disease severity were trained using convolutional neural networks. A template-matching grid search was used to estimate whole-video MESs provided by human reviewers using predicted still-image MES proportions. The automated whole-video MES workflow was tested using unaltered endoscopic videos from a multicenter UC clinical trial. RESULTS: The developmental high-resolution and testing multicenter clinical trial sets contained 51 and 264 videos, respectively. The still-image informative classifier had excellent performance with a sensitivity of 0.902 and specificity of 0.870. In high-resolution videos, fully automated methods correctly predicted MESs in 78% (41 of 50, ?  = 0.84) of videos. In external clinical trial videos, reviewers agreed on MESs in 82.8% (140 of 169) of videos (?  = 0.78). Automated and central reviewer scoring agreement occurred in 57.1% of videos (?  = 0.59), but improved to 69.5% (107 of 169) when accounting for reviewer disagreement. Automated MES grading of clinical trial videos (often low resolution) correctly distinguished remission (MES 0,1) versus active disease (MES 2,3) in 83.7% (221 of 264) of videos. CONCLUSIONS: These early results support the potential for artificial intelligence to provide endoscopic disease grading in UC that approximates the scoring of experienced reviewers.

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