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Med Phys. 2011 Apr;38(4):1844-58.

Development and evaluation of a computer-aided diagnostic scheme for lung nodule detection in chest radiographs by means of two-stage nodule enhancement with support vector classification.

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Department of Radiology, The University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 2026, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.



To develop a computer-aided detection (CADe) scheme for nodules in chest radiographs (CXRs) with a high sensitivity and a low false-positive (FP) rate.


The authors developed a CADe scheme consisting of five major steps, which were developed for improving the overall performance of CADe schemes. First, to segment the lung fields accurately, the authors developed a multisegment active shape model. Then, a two-stage nodule-enhancement technique was developed for improving the conspicuity of nodules. Initial nodule candidates were detected and segmented by using the clustering watershed algorithm. Thirty-one shape-, gray-level-, surface-, and gradient-based features were extracted from each segmented candidate for determining the feature space, including one of the new features based on the Canny edge detector to eliminate a major FP source caused by rib crossings. Finally, a nonlinear support vector machine (SVM) with a Gaussian kernel was employed for classification of the nodule candidates.


To evaluate and compare the scheme to other published CADe schemes, the authors used a publicly available database containing 140 nodules in 140 CXRs and 93 normal CXRs. The CADe scheme based on the SVM classifier achieved sensitivities of 78.6% (110/140) and 71.4% (100/140) with averages of 5.0 (1165/233) FPs/image and 2.0 (466/233) FPs/image, respectively, in a leave-one-out cross-validation test, whereas the CADe scheme based on a linear discriminant analysis classifier had a sensitivity of 60.7% (85/140) at an FP rate of 5.0 FPs/image. For nodules classified as "very subtle" and "extremely subtle," a sensitivity of 57.1% (24/42) was achieved at an FP rate of 5.0 FPs/image. When the authors used a database developed at the University of Chicago, the sensitivities was 83.3% (40/48) and 77.1% (37/48) at an FP rate of 5.0 (240/48) FPs/image and 2.0 (96/48) FPs/image, respectively.


These results compare favorably to those described for other commercial and non-commercial CADe nodule detection systems.

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