Artificial Intelligence Role in Subclassifying Cytology of Thyroid Follicular Neoplasm

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.

2 Department of computer science, Faculty of Graduate Studies for Statistical Research, Cairo University, Egypt.


Objective: Fine needle aspiration cytology has higher sensitivity and predictive value for diagnosis of thyroid nodules than any other single diagnostic methods.  In the Bethesda system for reporting thyroid, the category IV, encompasses both adenoma and carcinoma, but it is not possible to differentiate both lesions in the cytology practice and can be only differentiated after resection. In this work, we aim at exploring the ability of a convolutional neural network (CNN) model to sub-classifying cytological images of Bethesda category IV diagnosis into follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Methods: We used a cohort of cytology cases n= 43 with extracted images n= 886 to train CNN model aiming to sub-classify follicular neoplasm (Bethesda category IV) into either follicular adenoma or follicular carcinoma. Result: In our study, the model subclassification of follicular neoplasm into follicular adenoma (n = 28/43, images n = 527/886) from follicular carcinoma (n = 15/43, images n= 359/886), has achieved an accuracy of 78%, with a sensitivity of 88.4%, and a specificity of 64% and an area under the curve (AUC) score of 0.87 for each of follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma. Conclusion: Our CNN model has achieved high sensitivity in recognizing follicular adenoma amongest cytology smears of follciualr neoplasms, thus it can be used as an ancillary technique in the subcalssification of Bethesda Iv category cytology smears. 


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