Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Massoptier L., Casciaro S. A new fully automatic and robust algorithm for fast segmentation of liver tissue and tumors from CT scans. In: European Radiology, vol. 18 (8) pp. 1658 - 1665. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2008.
Accurate knowledge of the liver structure, including liver surface and lesion localization, is usually required in treatments such as liver tumor ablations and/or radiotherapy. This paper presents a new method and corresponding algorithm for fast segmentation of the liver and its internal lesions from CT scans. No interaction between the user and analysis system is required for initialization since the algorithm is fully automatic. A statistical model-based approach was created to distinguish hepatic tissue from other abdominal organs. It was combined to an active contour technique using gradient vector flow in order to obtain a smoother and more natural liver surface segmentation. Thereafter, automatic classification was performed to isolate hepatic lesions from liver parenchyma. Twenty-one datasets, presenting different anatomical and pathological situations, have beenprocessed and analyzed. Special focus has been driven to the resulting processing time together with quality assessment. Our method allowed robust and efficient liver and lesion segmentations very close to the ground truth, in a relatively short processing time (average of 11.4 s for a 512512-pixel slice). A volume overlap of 94.2% and an accuracy of 3.7 mm were achieved for liver surface segmentation. Sensitivity and specificity for tumor lesion detection were 82.6% and 87.5%, respectively.
URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/a707h67m3008j0w7/
DOI: 10.1007/s00330-008-0924-y
Subject Computer-assisted image interpretation
Statistical data analysis
Automatic segmentation
GVF active contours

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