BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive surgery is complex and associated with substantial learning curves. Computer-aided anatomy recognition, such as artificial intelligence-based algorithms, may improve anatomical orientation, prevent tissue injury, and improve learning curves. The study objective was to provide a comprehensive overview of current literature on the accuracy of anatomy recognition algorithms in intrathoracic and -abdominal surgery.
METHODS: This systematic review is reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline. Pubmed, Embase, and IEEE Xplore were searched for original studies up until January 2022 on computer-aided anatomy recognition, without requiring intraoperative imaging or calibration equipment. Extracted features included surgical procedure, study population and design, algorithm type, pre-training methods, pre- and post-processing methods, data augmentation, anatomy annotation, training data, testing data, model validation strategy, goal of the algorithm, target anatomical structure, accuracy, and inference time.
RESULTS: After full-text screening, 23 out of 7124 articles were included. Included studies showed a wide diversity, with six possible recognition tasks in 15 different surgical procedures, and 14 different accuracy measures used. Risk of bias in the included studies was high, especially regarding patient selection and annotation of the reference standard. Dice and intersection over union (IoU) scores of the algorithms ranged from 0.50 to 0.98 and from 74 to 98%, respectively, for various anatomy recognition tasks. High-accuracy algorithms were typically trained using larger datasets annotated by expert surgeons and focused on less-complex anatomy. Some of the high-accuracy algorithms were developed using pre-training and data augmentation.
CONCLUSIONS: The accuracy of included anatomy recognition algorithms varied substantially, ranging from moderate to good. Solid comparison between algorithms was complicated by the wide variety of applied methodology, target anatomical structures, and reported accuracy measures. Computer-aided intraoperative anatomy recognition is an upcoming research discipline, but still at its infancy. Larger datasets and methodological guidelines are required to improve accuracy and clinical applicability in future research.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42021264226.