Automated segmentation of lungs with severe interstitial lung disease in CT.
PURPOSE: Accurate segmentation of lungs with severe interstitial lung disease (ILD) in thoracic computed tomography (CT) is an important and difficult task in the development of computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems. Therefore, we developed in this study a texture analysis-based method for accurate segmentation of lungs with severe ILD in multidetector CT scans. METHODS: Our database consisted of 76 CT scans, including 31 normal cases and 45 abnormal cases with moderate or severe ILD. The lungs in three selected slices for each CT scan were first manually delineated by a medical physicist, and then confirmed or revised by an expert chest radiologist, and they were used as the reference standard for lung segmentation. To segment the lungs, we first employed a CT value thresholding technique to obtain an initial lung estimate, including normal and mild ILD lung parenchyma. We then used texture-feature images derived from the co-occurrence matrix to further identify abnormal lung regions with severe ILD. Finally, we combined the identified abnormal lung regions with the initial lungs to generate the final lung segmentation result. The overlap rate, volume agreement, mean absolute distance (MAD), and maximum absolute distance (dmax) between the automatically segmented lungs and the reference lungs were employed to evaluate the performance of the segmentation method. RESULTS: Our segmentation method achieved a mean overlap rate of 96.7%, a mean volume agreement of 98.5%, a mean MAD of 0.84 mm, and a mean dmax of 10.84 mm for all the cases in our database; a mean overlap rate of 97.7%, a mean volume agreement of 99.0%, a mean MAD of 0.66 mm, and a mean dmax of 9.59 mm for the 31 normal cases; and a mean overlap rate of 96.1%, a mean volume agreement of 98.1%, a mean MAD of 0.96 mm, and a mean dmax of 11.71 mm for the 45 abnormal cases with ILD. CONCLUSIONS: Our lung segmentation method provided accurate segmentation results for abnormal CT scans with severe ILD and would be useful for developing CAD systems for quantification, detection, and diagnosis of ILD.
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