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Proceedings Paper

An iterative method for airway segmentation using multiscale leakage detection
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Paper Abstract

There are growing applications of quantitative computed tomography for assessment of pulmonary diseases by characterizing lung parenchyma as well as the bronchial tree. Many large multi-center studies incorporating lung imaging as a study component are interested in phenotypes relating airway branching patterns, wall-thickness, and other morphological measures. To our knowledge, there are no fully automated airway tree segmentation methods, free of the need for user review. Even when there are failures in a small fraction of segmentation results, the airway tree masks must be manually reviewed for all results which is laborious considering that several thousands of image data sets are evaluated in large studies. In this paper, we present a CT-based novel airway tree segmentation algorithm using iterative multi-scale leakage detection, freezing, and active seed detection. The method is fully automated requiring no manual inputs or post-segmentation editing. It uses simple intensity based connectivity and a new leakage detection algorithm to iteratively grow an airway tree starting from an initial seed inside the trachea. It begins with a conservative threshold and then, iteratively shifts toward generous values. The method was applied on chest CT scans of ten non-smoking subjects at total lung capacity and ten at functional residual capacity. Airway segmentation results were compared to an expert’s manually edited segmentations. Branch level accuracy of the new segmentation method was examined along five standardized segmental airway paths (RB1, RB4, RB10, LB1, LB10) and two generations beyond these branches. The method successfully detected all branches up to two generations beyond these segmental bronchi with no visual leakages.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2017
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10133, Medical Imaging 2017: Image Processing, 1013308 (24 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254507
Show Author Affiliations
Syed Ahmed Nadeem, The Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Dakai Jin, The Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Eric A. Hoffman, The Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Punam K. Saha, The Univ. of Iowa (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10133:
Medical Imaging 2017: Image Processing
Martin A. Styner; Elsa D. Angelini, Editor(s)

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