25 March 2011 Skeletonization approach for characterization of benign vs. malignant single thyroid nodules using 3D contrast enhanced ultrasound
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Abstract
High-resolution ultrasonography (HRUS) has potentialities in differential diagnosis between malignant and benign thyroid lesions, but interpretative pitfalls remain and accuracy is still poor. We developed an image processing technique for characterizing the intra-nodular vascularization of thyroid lesions. Twenty nodules (ten malignant) were analyzed by 3-D contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging. The 3-D volumes were preprocessed and skeletonized. Seven vascular parameters were computed on the skeletons: number of vascular trees (NT); vascular density (VD); number of branching nodes (or branching points) (NB); mean vessel radius (MR); 2-D (DM) and 3-D (SOAM) tortuosity; and inflection count metric (ICM). Results showed that the malignant nodules had higher values of NT (83.1 vs. 18.1), VD (00.4 vs. 0.01), NB (1453 vs. 552), DM (51 vs. 18), ICM (19.9 vs. 8.7), and SOAM (26 vs. 11). Quantification of nodular vascularization based on 3-D contrast-enhanced ultrasound and skeletonization could help differential diagnosis of thyroid lesions.
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Filippo Molinari, Alice Mantovani, Maurilio Deandrea, Paolo Limone, Roberto Garberoglio, Jasjit S. Suri, "Skeletonization approach for characterization of benign vs. malignant single thyroid nodules using 3D contrast enhanced ultrasound", Proc. SPIE 7968, Medical Imaging 2011: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 796813 (25 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.877128; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.877128
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