Deep Learning Classification of Spinal Osteoporotic Compression Fractures on Radiographs using an Adaptation of the Genant Semiquantitative Criteria

Published:March 26, 2022DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      Osteoporosis affects 9% of individuals over 50 in the United States and 200 million women globally. Spinal osteoporotic compression fractures (OCFs), an osteoporosis biomarker, are often incidental and under-reported. Accurate automated opportunistic OCF screening can increase the diagnosis rate and ensure adequate treatment. We aimed to develop a deep learning classifier for OCFs, a critical component of our future automated opportunistic screening tool.

      Materials and Methods

      The dataset from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study comprised 4461 subjects and 15,524 spine radiographs. This dataset was split by subject: 76.5% training, 8.5% validation, and 15% testing. From the radiographs, 100,409 vertebral bodies were extracted, each assigned one of two labels adapted from the Genant semiquantitative system: moderate to severe fracture vs. normal/trace/mild fracture. GoogLeNet, a deep learning model, was trained to classify the vertebral bodies. The classification threshold on the predicted probability of OCF outputted by GoogLeNet was set to prioritize the positive predictive value (PPV) while balancing it with the sensitivity. Vertebral bodies with the top 0.75% predicted probabilities were classified as moderate to severe fracture.


      Our model yielded a sensitivity of 59.8%, a PPV of 91.2%, and an F1 score of 0.72. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) and the precision-recall curve were 0.99 and 0.82, respectively.


      Our model classified vertebral bodies with an AUC-ROC of 0.99, providing a critical component for our future automated opportunistic screening tool. This could lead to earlier detection and treatment of OCFs.



      AUC-PR (area under the precision-recall curve), ACU-ROC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve), CI (confidence interval), FDR (false discovery rate), GPU (graphics processing unit), ILSVRC2012 (ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2012), MrOS (Osteoporotic Fractures in Men), NPV (negative predictive value), OCF (osteoporotic compression fracture), PPV (positive predictive value), PR (precision-recall), SQ (semiquantitative)
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