24 March 2014 Segmentation and separation of venous vasculatures in liver CT images
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Abstract
Computer-aided analysis of venous vasculatures including hepatic veins and portal veins is important in liver surgery planning. The analysis normally consists of two important pre-processing tasks: segmenting both vasculatures and separating them from each other by assigning different labels. During the acquisition of multi-phase CT images, both of the venous vessels are enhanced by injected contrast agent and acquired either in a common phase or in two individual phases. The enhanced signals established by contrast agent are often not stably acquired due to non-optimal acquisition time. Inadequate contrast and the presence of large lesions in oncological patients, make the segmentation task quite challenging. To overcome these diffculties, we propose a framework with minimal user interactions to analyze venous vasculatures in multi-phase CT images. Firstly, presented vasculatures are automatically segmented adopting an efficient multi-scale Hessian-based vesselness filter. The initially segmented vessel trees are then converted to a graph representation, on which a series of graph filters are applied in post-processing steps to rule out irrelevant structures. Eventually, we develop a semi-automatic workow to refine the segmentation in the areas of inferior vena cava and entrance of portal veins, and to simultaneously separate hepatic veins from portal veins. Segmentation quality was evaluated with intensive tests enclosing 60 CT images from both healthy liver donors and oncological patients. To quantitatively measure the similarities between segmented and reference vessel trees, we propose three additional metrics: skeleton distance, branch coverage, and boundary surface distance, which are dedicated to quantifying the misalignment induced by both branching patterns and radii of two vessel trees.
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Lei Wang, Christian Hansen, Stephan Zidowitz, Horst K. Hahn, "Segmentation and separation of venous vasculatures in liver CT images", Proc. SPIE 9035, Medical Imaging 2014: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 90350Q (24 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043406; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043406
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