Automatic Detection and Measurement of Renal Cysts in Ultrasound Images: A Deep Learning Approach

Yurie Kanauchi, Masahiro Hashimoto, Naoki Toda, Saori Okamoto, Hasnine Haque, Masahiro Jinzaki, Yasubumi Sakakibara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonography is widely used for diagnosis of diseases in internal organs because it is nonradioactive, noninvasive, real-time, and inexpensive. In ultrasonography, a set of measurement markers is placed at two points to measure organs and tumors, then the position and size of the target finding are measured on this basis. Among the measurement targets of abdominal ultrasonography, renal cysts occur in 20–50% of the population regardless of age. Therefore, the frequency of measurement of renal cysts in ultrasound images is high, and the effect of automating measurement would be high as well. The aim of this study was to develop a deep learning model that can automatically detect renal cysts in ultrasound images and predict the appropriate position of a pair of salient anatomical landmarks to measure their size. The deep learning model adopted fine-tuned YOLOv5 for detection of renal cysts and fine-tuned UNet++ for prediction of saliency maps, representing the position of salient landmarks. Ultrasound images were input to YOLOv5, and images cropped inside the bounding box and detected from the input image by YOLOv5 were input to UNet++. For comparison with human performance, three sonographers manually placed salient landmarks on 100 unseen items of the test data. These salient landmark positions annotated by a board-certified radiologist were used as the ground truth. We then evaluated and compared the accuracy of the sonographers and the deep learning model. Their performances were evaluated using precision–recall metrics and the measurement error. The evaluation results show that the precision and recall of our deep learning model for detection of renal cysts are comparable to standard radiologists; the positions of the salient landmarks were predicted with an accuracy close to that of the radiologists, and in a shorter time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number484
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb


  • deep learning
  • kidney
  • object detection
  • ultrasonic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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