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24 March 2016 Lymph node detection in IASLC-defined zones on PET/CT images
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Lymph node detection is challenging due to the low contrast between lymph nodes as well as surrounding soft tissues and the variation in nodal size and shape. In this paper, we propose several novel ideas which are combined into a system to operate on positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (PET/CT) images to detect abnormal thoracic nodes. First, our previous Automatic Anatomy Recognition (AAR) approach is modified where lymph node zones predominantly following International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) specifications are modeled as objects arranged in a hierarchy along with key anatomic anchor objects. This fuzzy anatomy model built from diagnostic CT images is then deployed on PET/CT images for automatically recognizing the zones. A novel globular filter (g-filter) to detect blob-like objects over a specified range of sizes is designed to detect the most likely locations and sizes of diseased nodes. Abnormal nodes within each automatically localized zone are subsequently detected via combined use of different items of information at various scales: lymph node zone model poses found at recognition indicating the geographic layout at the global level of node clusters, g-filter response which hones in on and carefully selects node-like globular objects at the node level, and CT and PET gray value but within only the most plausible nodal regions for node presence at the voxel level. The models are built from 25 diagnostic CT scans and refined for an object hierarchy based on a separate set of 20 diagnostic CT scans. Node detection is tested on an additional set of 20 PET/CT scans. Our preliminary results indicate node detection sensitivity and specificity at around 90% and 85%, respectively.
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Yihua Song, Jayaram K. Udupa, Dewey Odhner, Yubing Tong, and Drew A. Torigian "Lymph node detection in IASLC-defined zones on PET/CT images", Proc. SPIE 9785, Medical Imaging 2016: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 978515 (24 March 2016);

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