Liver segmentation is the basis for computer-based planning of hepatic surgical interventions. In diagnosis and analysis of hepatic diseases and surgery planning, automatic segmentation of liver has high importance. Blood vessel (BV) has showed high performance at liver segmentation. In our previous work, we developed a semi-automatic method that segments the liver through the portal phase abdominal CT images in two stages. First stage was interactive segmentation of abdominal blood vessels (ABVs) and subsequent classification into hepatic (HBVs) and non-hepatic (non-HBVs). This stage had 5 interactions that include selective threshold for bone segmentation, selecting two seed points for kidneys segmentation, selection of inferior vena cava (IVC) entrance for starting ABVs segmentation, identification of the portal vein (PV) entrance to the liver and the IVC-exit for classifying HBVs from other ABVs (non-HBVs). Second stage is automatic segmentation of the liver based on segmented ABVs as described in . For full automation of our method we developed a method  that segments ABVs automatically tackling the first three interactions. In this paper, we propose full automation of classifying ABVs into HBVs and non- HBVs and consequently full automation of liver segmentation that we proposed in . Results illustrate that the method is effective at segmentation of the liver through the portal abdominal CT images.
In abdominal disease diagnosis and various abdominal surgeries planning, segmentation of abdominal blood vessel (ABVs) is a very imperative task. Automatic segmentation enables fast and accurate processing of ABVs. We proposed a fully automatic approach for segmenting ABVs through contrast enhanced CT images by a hybrid of 3D region growing and 4D curvature analysis. The proposed method comprises three stages. First, candidates of bone, kidneys, ABVs and heart are segmented by an auto-adapted threshold. Second, bone is auto-segmented and classified into spine, ribs and pelvis. Third, ABVs are automatically segmented in two sub-steps: (1) kidneys and abdominal part of the heart are segmented, (2) ABVs are segmented by a hybrid approach that integrates a 3D region growing and 4D curvature analysis. Results are compared with two conventional methods. Results show that the proposed method is very promising in segmenting and classifying bone, segmenting whole ABVs and may have potential utility in clinical use.
Blood vessels are dispersed throughout the human body organs and carry unique information for each person. This information can be used to delineate organ boundaries. The proposed method relies on abdominal blood vessels (ABV) to segment the liver considering the potential presence of tumors through the portal phase of a CT dataset. ABV are extracted and classified into hepatic (HBV) and nonhepatic (non-HBV) with a small number of interactions. HBV and non-HBV are used to guide an automatic segmentation of the liver. HBV are used to individually segment the core region of the liver. This region and non-HBV are used to construct a boundary surface between the liver and other organs to separate them. The core region is classified based on extracted posterior distributions of its histogram into low intensity tumor (LIT) and non-LIT core regions. Non-LIT case includes normal part of liver, HBV, and high intensity tumors if exist. Each core region is extended based on its corresponding posterior distribution. Extension is completed when it reaches either a variation in intensity or the constructed boundary surface. The method was applied to 80 datasets (30 Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) and 50 non-MICCAI data) including 60 datasets with tumors. Our results for the MICCAI-test data were evaluated by sliver07  with an overall score of 79.7, which ranks seventh best on the site (December 2013). This approach seems a promising method for extraction of liver volumetry of various shapes and sizes and low intensity hepatic tumors.
At liver surgery planning stage, the liver volumetry would be essential for surgeons. Main problem at liver
extraction is the wide variability of livers in shapes and sizes. Since, hepatic blood vessels structure varies from a
person to another and covers liver region, the present method uses that information for extraction of liver in two
stages. The first stage is to extract abdominal blood vessels in the form of hepatic and nonhepatic blood vessels. At the
second stage, extracted vessels are used to control extraction of liver region automatically. Contrast enhanced CT
datasets at only the portal phase of 50 cases is used. Those data include 30 abnormal livers. A reference for all cases is
done through a comparison of two experts labeling results and correction of their inter-reader variability. Results of the
proposed method agree with the reference at an average rate of 97.8%. Through application of different metrics
mentioned at MICCAI workshop for liver segmentation, it is found that: volume overlap error is 4.4%, volume
difference is 0.3%, average symmetric distance is 0.7 mm, Root mean square symmetric distance is 0.8 mm, and
maximum distance is 15.8 mm. These results represent the average of overall data and show an improved accuracy
compared to current liver segmentation methods. It seems to be a promising method for extraction of liver volumetry
of various shapes and sizes.