3 March 2017 Advancements in automated tissue segmentation pipeline for contrast-enhanced CT scans of adult and pediatric patients
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Abstract
The development of a random forests machine learning technique is presented for fully-automated neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis tissue segmentation of CT images using Trainable WEKA (Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis) Segmentation (TWS) plugin of FIJI (ImageJ, NIH). The use of a single classifier model to segment six tissue classes (lung, fat, muscle, solid organ, blood/contrast agent, bone) in the CT images is studied. An automated unbiased scheme to sample pixels from the training images and generate a balanced training dataset over the seven classes is also developed. Two independent training datasets are generated from a pool of 4 adult (>55 kg) and 3 pediatric patients (<;=55 kg) with 7 manually contoured slices for each patient. Classifier training investigated 28 image filters comprising a total of 272 features. Highly correlated and insignificant features are eliminated using Correlated Feature Subset (CFS) selection with Best First Search (BFS) algorithms in WEKA. The 2 training models (from the 2 training datasets) had 74 and 71 input training features, respectively. The study also investigated the effect of varying the number of trees (25, 50, 100, and 200) in the random forest algorithm. The performance of the 2 classifier models are evaluated on inter-patient intra-slice, intrapatient inter-slice and inter-patient inter-slice test datasets. The Dice similarity coefficients (DSC) and confusion matrices are used to understand the performance of the classifiers across the tissue segments. The effect of number of features in the training input on the performance of the classifiers for tissue classes with less than optimal DSC values is also studied. The average DSC values for the two training models on the inter-patient intra-slice test data are: 0.98, 0.89, 0.87, 0.79, 0.68, and 0.84, for lung, fat, muscle, solid organ, blood/contrast agent, and bone, respectively. The study demonstrated that a robust segmentation accuracy for lung, muscle and fat tissue classes. For solid-organ, blood/contrast and bone, the performance of the segmentation pipeline improved significantly by using the advanced capabilities of WEKA. However, further improvements are needed to reduce the noise in the segmentation.
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Elanchezhian Somasundaram, Robert Kaufman, Samuel Brady, "Advancements in automated tissue segmentation pipeline for contrast-enhanced CT scans of adult and pediatric patients", Proc. SPIE 10134, Medical Imaging 2017: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 101343I (3 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254594; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254594
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