9 May 2002 Simultaneous segmentation and tree reconstruction of the airways for virtual bronchoscopy
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During the last couple of years virtual endoscopic systems (VES) have emerged as standard tools that are nowadays close to be utilized in daily clinical practice. Such tools render hollow human structures, allowing a clinician to visualize their inside in an endoscopic-like paradigm. It is common practice that the camera of a virtual endoscope is attached to the centerline of the structure of interest, to facilitate navigation. This centerline has to be determined manually or automatically, prior to an investigation. While there exist techniques that can straightforwardly handle simple tube-like structures (e.g. colon, aorta), structures like the tracheobronchial tree still represent a challenge due to their complex branching. In these cases it is necessary to determine all branching points within the tree which is - because of the complexity - impractical to be accomplished in a manual manner. This paper presents a simultaneous segmentation/skeletonization algorithm that extracts all major airway branches and large parts of the minor distal branches (up to 7th order) using a front propagation approach. During the segmentation the algorithm keeps track of the centerline of the segmented structure and detects all branching points. This in turn allows the full reconstruction of the tracheobronchial tree.
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Thorsten Schlathoelter, Thorsten Schlathoelter, Cristian Lorenz, Cristian Lorenz, Ingwer C. Carlsen, Ingwer C. Carlsen, Steffen Renisch, Steffen Renisch, Thomas Deschamps, Thomas Deschamps, } "Simultaneous segmentation and tree reconstruction of the airways for virtual bronchoscopy", Proc. SPIE 4684, Medical Imaging 2002: Image Processing, (9 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.467061; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.467061

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