The interpretation of radiation dose is an important procedure for both radiological operators and persons who are exposed to background or artificial radiations. Dicentric chromosome assay (DCA) is one of the representative methods of dose estimation that discriminates the aberration in chromosomes modified by radiation. Despite the DCA-based automated radiation dose estimation methods proposed in previous studies, there are still limitations to the accuracy of dose estimation. In this study, a DCA-based automated dose estimation system using deep learning methods is proposed. The system is comprised of three stages. In the first stage, a classifier based on a deep learning technique is used for filtering the chromosome images that are not appropriate for use in distinguishing the chromosome; 99% filtering accuracy was achieved with 2,040 test images. In the second stage, the dicentric rate is evaluated by counting and identifying chromosomes based on the Feature Pyramid Network, which is one of the object detection algorithms based on deep learning architecture. The accuracies of the neural networks for counting and identifying chromosomes were estimated at over 97% and 90%, respectively. In the third stage, dose estimation is conducted using the dicentric rate and the dose-response curve. The accuracies of the system were estimated using two independent samples; absorbed doses ranging from 1– 4 Gy agreed well within a 99% confidential interval showing highest accuracy compared to those in previous studies. The goal of this study was to provide insights towards achieving complete automation of the radiation dose estimation, especially in the event of a large-scale radiation exposure incident.
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Vol. 195 • No. 2