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18 March 2014 Estimation of cartilaginous region in noncontrast CT of the chest
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Pectus excavatum is a posterior depression of the sternum and adjacent costal cartilages and is the most common congenital deformity of the anterior chest wall. Its surgical repair can be performed via minimally invasive procedures that involve sternum and cartilage relocation and benefit from adequate surgical planning. In this study, we propose a method to estimate the cartilage regions in thoracic CT scans, which is the first step of statistical modeling of the osseous and cartilaginous structures for the rib cage. The ribs and sternum are first segmented by using interactive region growing and removing the vertebral column with morphological operations. The entire chest wall is also segmented to estimate the skin surface. After the segmentation, surface meshes are generated from the volumetric data and the skeleton of the ribs is extracted using surface contraction method. Then the cartilage surface is approximated via contracting the skin surface to the osseous structure. The ribs’ skeleton is projected to the cartilage surface and the cartilages are estimated using cubic interpolation given the joints with the sternum. The final cartilage regions are formed by the cartilage surface inside the convex hull of the estimated cartilages. The method was validated with the CT scans of two pectus excavatum patients and three healthy subjects. The average distance between the estimated cartilage surface and the ground truth is 2.89 mm. The promising results indicate the effectiveness of cartilage surface estimation using the skin surface.
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Qian Zhao, Nabile Safdar, Glenna Yu, Emmarie Myers, Anthony Sandler, and Marius George Linguraru "Estimation of cartilaginous region in noncontrast CT of the chest", Proc. SPIE 9035, Medical Imaging 2014: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 90350N (18 March 2014);

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