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A Geometrical Constrained Chan-Vese Based Tumor Segmentation Scheme for PET

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L Chen

L Chen*, Z Zhou , J Wang , UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX


SU-C-207B-3 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 1:00 PM - 1:55 PM Room: 207 B

Purpose: Accurate segmentation of tumor in PET is challenging when part of tumor is connected with normal organs/tissues with no difference in intensity. Conventional segmentation methods, such as thresholding or region growing, cannot generate satisfactory results in this case. We proposed a geometrical constrained Chan-Vese based scheme to segment tumor in PET for this special case by considering the similarity between two adjacent slices.

Methods: The proposed scheme performs segmentation in a slice-by-slice fashion where an accurate segmentation of one slice is used as the guidance for segmentation of rest slices. For a slice that the tumor is not directly connected to organs/tissues with similar intensity values, a conventional clustering-based segmentation method under user’s guidance is used to obtain an exact tumor contour. This is set as the initial contour and the Chan-Vese algorithm is applied for segmenting the tumor in the next adjacent slice by adding constraints of tumor size, position and shape information. This procedure is repeated until the last slice of PET containing tumor. The proposed geometrical constrained Chan-Vese based algorithm was implemented in Matlab and its performance was tested on several cervical cancer patients where cervix and bladder are connected with similar activity values. The positive predictive values (PPV) are calculated to characterize the segmentation accuracy of the proposed scheme.

Results: Tumors were accurately segmented by the proposed method even when they are connected with bladder in the image with no difference in intensity. The average PPVs were 0.9571±0.0355 and 0.9894±0.0271 for 17 slices and 11 slices of PET from two patients, respectively.

Conclusion: We have developed a new scheme to segment tumor in PET images for the special case that the tumor is quite similar to or connected to normal organs/tissues in the image. The proposed scheme can provide a reliable way for segmenting tumors.

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