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Proceedings Paper

Heart region segmentation from low-dose CT scans: an anatomy based approach
Author(s): Anthony P. Reeves; Alberto M. Biancardi; David F. Yankelevitz; Matthew D. Cham; Claudia I. Henschke
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Paper Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in developed countries. The concurrent detection of heart diseases during low-dose whole-lung CT scans (LDCT), typically performed as part of a screening protocol, hinges on the accurate quantification of coronary calcification. The creation of fully automated methods is ideal as complete manual evaluation is imprecise, operator dependent, time consuming and thus costly. The technical challenges posed by LDCT scans in this context are mainly twofold. First, there is a high level image noise arising from the low radiation dose technique. Additionally, there is a variable amount of cardiac motion blurring due to the lack of electrocardiographic gating and the fact that heart rates differ between human subjects. As a consequence, the reliable segmentation of the heart, the first stage toward the implementation of morphologic heart abnormality detection, is also quite challenging. An automated computer method based on a sequential labeling of major organs and determination of anatomical landmarks has been evaluated on a public database of LDCT images. The novel algorithm builds from a robust segmentation of the bones and airways and embodies a stepwise refinement starting at the top of the lungs where image noise is at its lowest and where the carina provides a good calibration landmark. The segmentation is completed at the inferior wall of the heart where extensive image noise is accommodated. This method is based on the geometry of human anatomy and does not involve training through manual markings. Using visual inspection by an expert reader as a gold standard, the algorithm achieved successful heart and major vessel segmentation in 42 of 45 low-dose CT images. In the 3 remaining cases, the cardiac base was over segmented due to incorrect hemidiaphragm localization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8314, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Processing, 83142A (14 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.911652
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony P. Reeves, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Alberto M. Biancardi, Cornell Univ. (United States)
David F. Yankelevitz, The Mount Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)
Matthew D. Cham, The Mount Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)
Claudia I. Henschke, The Mount Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8314:
Medical Imaging 2012: Image Processing
David R. Haynor; Sébastien Ourselin, Editor(s)

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