CT colonography is a minimally invasive technique that can be used to find polyps and malignant tumors in the colon.
However, if a polyp or malignant tumor is found, a colonoscopy is then required to further investigate and remove it.
One major problem in relaying the location of a polyp between radiologists and colonoscopists is the ambiguity of the
divisions between various colon segments. Because there exists no concrete separator between segments,
miscommunication of polyp locations can result.
In an effort to minimize such miscommunications, an automated labeling program has been created. This program reads
in CT images and returns physical coordinates of the divisions between segments. Such a system would allow for a
more universally accepted method for communication of polyp location between radiologists and colonoscopists, and
hopefully increase the speed and ease with which such polyp location can be reported.
The purpose of this study was to validate the automated method of labeling by comparing physical coordinates of region
dividers found using the program with those manually determined by a radiologist. The segments were defined with a
modified version of a procedure developed by Taylor et al (Radiology 229:99-108, 2003). A set of 30 scans was used to
train the system and then a test set of 216 cases was used to validate the system. The system reported locations that
averaged 1-3 cm different than manually reported locations. The errors are on the order of the diameters of the colonic
segments and are in the clinically acceptable range.