Deep learning computer vision algorithm for detecting kidney stone composition

Kristian M. Black, Hei Law, Ali Aldoukhi, Jia Deng, Khurshid R. Ghani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess the recall of a deep learning (DL) method to automatically detect kidney stones composition from digital photographs of stones. Materials and Methods: A total of 63 human kidney stones of varied compositions were obtained from a stone laboratory including calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM), uric acid (UA), magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (MAPH/struvite), calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate (CHPD/brushite), and cystine stones. At least two images of the stones, both surface and inner core, were captured on a digital camera for all stones. A deep convolutional neural network (CNN), ResNet-101 (ResNet, Microsoft), was applied as a multi-class classification model, to each image. This model was assessed using leave-one-out cross-validation with the primary outcome being network prediction recall. Results: The composition prediction recall for each composition was as follows: UA 94% (n = 17), COM 90% (n = 21), MAPH/struvite 86% (n = 7), cystine 75% (n = 4), CHPD/brushite 71% (n = 14). The overall weighted recall of the CNNs composition analysis was 85% for the entire cohort. Specificity and precision for each stone type were as follows: UA (97.83%, 94.12%), COM (97.62%, 95%), struvite (91.84%, 71.43%), cystine (98.31%, 75%), and brushite (96.43%, 75%). Conclusion: Deep CNNs can be used to identify kidney stone composition from digital photographs with good recall. Future work is needed to see if DL can be used for detecting stone composition during digital endoscopy. This technology may enable integrated endoscopic and laser systems that automatically provide laser settings based on stone composition recognition with the goal to improve surgical efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-924
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


  • #KidneyStones
  • #UroStone
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer vision
  • deep learning
  • holmium
  • laser lithotripsy
  • ureteroscopy


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