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Med Image Anal. 2012 Jan;16(1):140-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Semi-automatic liver tumor segmentation with hidden Markov measure field model and non-parametric distribution estimation.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science, Aalto University School of Science, P.O. Box 12200, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland.


A novel liver tumor segmentation method for CT images is presented. The aim of this work was to reduce the manual labor and time required in the treatment planning of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), by providing accurate and automated tumor segmentations reliably. The developed method is semi-automatic, requiring only minimal user interaction. The segmentation is based on non-parametric intensity distribution estimation and a hidden Markov measure field model, with application of a spherical shape prior. A post-processing operation is also presented to remove the overflow to adjacent tissue. In addition to the conventional approach of using a single image as input data, an approach using images from multiple contrast phases was developed. The accuracy of the method was validated with two sets of patient data, and artificially generated samples. The patient data included preoperative RFA images and a public data set from "3D Liver Tumor Segmentation Challenge 2008". The method achieved very high accuracy with the RFA data, and outperformed other methods evaluated with the public data set, receiving an average overlap error of 30.3% which represents an improvement of 2.3% points to the previously best performing semi-automatic method. The average volume difference was 23.5%, and the average, the RMS, and the maximum surface distance errors were 1.87, 2.43, and 8.09 mm, respectively. The method produced good results even for tumors with very low contrast and ambiguous borders, and the performance remained high with noisy image data.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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