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Image segmentation using joint spatial-intensity-shape features: Application to CT lung nodule segmentation

Ye, X., Siddique, M., Douiri, A. , Beddoe, G. & Slabaugh, G. G. (2009). Image segmentation using joint spatial-intensity-shape features: Application to CT lung nodule segmentation. Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE, 7259, 72594V. doi: 10.1117/12.811151


Automatic segmentation of medical images is a challenging problem due to the complexity and variability of human anatomy, poor contrast of the object being segmented, and noise resulting from the image acquisition process. This paper presents a novel non-parametric feature analysis method for the segmentation of 3D medical lesions. The proposed algorithm combines 1) a volumetric shape feature (shape index) based on high-order partial derivatives; 2) mean shift clustering in a joint spatial-intensity-shape (JSIS) feature space; and 3) a modified expectation-maximization (MEM) algorithm on the mean shift mode map to merge the neighboring regions (modes). In such a scenario, the volumetric shape feature is integrated into the process of the segmentation algorithm. The joint spatial–intensity-shape features provide rich information for the segmentation of the anatomic structures or lesions (tumors). The proposed method has been evaluated on a clinical dataset of thoracic CT scans that contains 68 nodules. A volume overlap ratio between each segmented nodule and the ground truth annotation is calculated. Using the proposed method, the mean overlap ratio over all the nodules is 0.80. On visual inspection and using a quantitative evaluation, the experimental results demonstrate the potential of the proposed method. It can properly segment a variety of nodules including juxta-vascular and juxta-pleural nodules, which are challenging for conventional methods due to the high similarity of intensities between the nodules and their adjacent tissues. This approach could also be applied to lesion segmentation in other anatomies, such as polyps in the colon.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright (2009) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
Publisher Keywords: Image segmentation; Lung; Optical inspection; Tissues; Colon; Expectation maximization algorithms; Image acquisition
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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