Lung CAD systems require the ability to classify a variety of pulmonary structures as part of the diagnostic process.
The purpose of this work was to develop a methodology for fully automated voxel-by-voxel classification of
airways, fissures, nodules, and vessels from chest CT images using a single feature set and classification method.
Twenty-nine thin section CT scans were obtained from the Lung Image Database Consortium (LIDC). Multiple
radiologists labeled voxels corresponding to the following structures: airways (trachea to 6th generation), major and
minor lobar fissures, nodules, and vessels (hilum to peripheral), and normal lung parenchyma. The labeled data was
used in conjunction with a supervised machine learning approach (AdaBoost) to train a set of ensemble classifiers.
Each ensemble classifier was trained to detect voxels part of a specific structure (either airway, fissure, nodule,
vessel, or parenchyma). The feature set consisted of voxel attenuation and a small number of features based on the
eigenvalues of the Hessian matrix (used to differentiate structures by shape) computed at multiple smoothing scales
to improve the detection of both large and small structures. When each ensemble classifier was composed of 20
weak classifiers, the AUC values for the airway, fissure, nodule, vessel, and parenchyma classifiers were 0.984 ±
0.011, 0.949 ± 0.009, 0.945 ± 0.018, 0.953 ± 0.016, and 0.931± 0.015 respectively.