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Proceedings Paper

Automatic three-dimensional rib centerline extraction from CT scans for enhanced visualization and anatomical context
Author(s): Sowmya Ramakrishnan; Christopher Alvino; Leo Grady; Atilla Kiraly
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Paper Abstract

We present a complete automatic system to extract 3D centerlines of ribs from thoracic CT scans. Our rib centerline system determines the positional information for the rib cage consisting of extracted rib centerlines, spinal canal centerline, pairing and labeling of ribs. We show an application of this output to produce an enhanced visualization of the rib cage by the method of Kiraly et al., in which the ribs are digitally unfolded along their centerlines. The centerline extraction consists of three stages: (a) pre-trace processing for rib localization, (b) rib centerline tracing, and (c) post-trace processing to merge the rib traces. Then we classify ribs from non-ribs and determine anatomical rib labeling. Our novel centerline tracing technique uses the Random Walker algorithm to segment the structural boundary of the rib in successive 2D cross sections orthogonal to the longitudinal direction of the ribs. Then the rib centerline is progressively traced along the rib using a 3D Kalman filter. The rib centerline extraction framework was evaluated on 149 CT datasets with varying slice spacing, dose, and under a variety of reconstruction kernels. The results of the evaluation are presented. The extraction takes approximately 20 seconds on a modern radiology workstation and performs robustly even in the presence of partial volume effects or rib pathologies such as bone metastases or fractures, making the system suitable for assisting clinicians in expediting routine rib reading for oncology and trauma applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7962, Medical Imaging 2011: Image Processing, 79622X (14 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.878283
Show Author Affiliations
Sowmya Ramakrishnan, Volt Workforce Solutions inc. (United States)
Christopher Alvino, Siemens Corp. Research (United States)
Leo Grady, Siemens Corp. Research (United States)
Atilla Kiraly, Siemens Corp. Research (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7962:
Medical Imaging 2011: Image Processing
Benoit M. Dawant; David R. Haynor, Editor(s)

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