12 April 2005 A 3D image analysis tool for SPECT imaging
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We have developed semi-automated and fully-automated tools for the analysis of 3D single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images. The focus is on the efficient boundary delineation of complex 3D structures that enables accurate measurement of their structural and physiologic properties. We employ intensity based thresholding algorithms for interactive and semi-automated analysis. We also explore fuzzy-connectedness concepts for fully automating the segmentation process. We apply the proposed tools to SPECT image data capturing variation of gastric accommodation and emptying. These image analysis tools were developed within the framework of a noninvasive scintigraphic test to measure simultaneously both gastric emptying and gastric volume after ingestion of a solid or a liquid meal. The clinical focus of the particular analysis was to probe associations between gastric accommodation/emptying and functional dyspepsia. Employing the proposed tools, we outline effectively the complex three dimensional gastric boundaries shown in the 3D SPECT images. We also perform accurate volume calculations in order to quantitatively assess the gastric mass variation. This analysis was performed both with the semi-automated and fully-automated tools. The results were validated against manual segmentation performed by a human expert. We believe that the development of an automated segmentation tool for SPECT imaging of the gastric volume variability will allow for other new applications of SPECT imaging where there is a need to evaluate complex organ function or tumor masses.
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Despina Kontos, Qiang Wang, Vasileios Megalooikonomou, Alan H. Maurer, Linda C. Knight, Steve Kantor, Robert S. Fisher, Hrair P. Simonian, Henry P. Parkman, "A 3D image analysis tool for SPECT imaging", Proc. SPIE 5744, Medical Imaging 2005: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.595979; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.595979

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