Quick guide on radiology image pre-processing for deep learning applications in prostate cancer research

Samira Masoudi, Stephanie A. Harmon, Sherif Mehralivand, Stephanie M. Walker, Harish Raviprakash, Ulas Bagci, Peter L. Choyke, Baris Turkbey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Deep learning has achieved major breakthroughs during the past decade in almost every field. There are plenty of publicly available algorithms, each designed to address a different task of computer vision in general. However, most of these algorithms cannot be directly applied to images in the medical domain. Herein, we are focused on the required preprocessing steps that should be applied to medical images prior to deep neural networks. Approach: To be able to employ the publicly available algorithms for clinical purposes, we must make a meaningful pixel/voxel representation from medical images which facilitates the learning process. Based on the ultimate goal expected from an algorithm (classification, detection, or segmentation), one may infer the required pre-processing steps that can ideally improve the performance of that algorithm. Required pre-processing steps for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images in their correct order are discussed in detail. We further supported our discussion by relevant experiments to investigate the efficiency of the listed preprocessing steps. Results: Our experiments confirmed how using appropriate image pre-processing in the right order can improve the performance of deep neural networks in terms of better classification and segmentation. Conclusions: This work investigates the appropriate pre-processing steps for CT and MR images of prostate cancer patients, supported by several experiments that can be useful for educating those new to the field (https://github.com/NIH-MIP/Radiology_Image_Preprocessing_for_Deep_Learning).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number010901
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • deep learning
  • image pre-processing
  • medical images
  • prostate cancer research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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