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Segmentation of nodules on chest computed tomography for growth assessment.

Authors
  • Mullally, William
  • Betke, Margrit
  • Wang, Jingbin
  • Ko, Jane P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical Physics
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2004
Volume
31
Issue
4
Pages
839–848
Identifiers
PMID: 15125002
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Several segmentation methods to evaluate growth of small isolated pulmonary nodules on chest computed tomography (CT) are presented. The segmentation methods are based on adaptively thresholding attenuation levels and use measures of nodule shape. The segmentation methods were first tested on a realistic chest phantom to evaluate their performance with respect to specific nodule characteristics. The segmentation methods were also tested on sequential CT scans of patients. The methods' estimation of nodule growth were compared to the volume change calculated by a chest radiologist. The best method segmented nodules on average 43% smaller or larger than the actual nodule when errors were computed across all nodule variations on the phantom. Some methods achieved smaller errors when examined with respect to certain nodule properties. In particular, on the phantom individual methods segmented solid nodules to within 23% of their actual size and nodules with 60.7 mm3 volumes to within 14%. On the clinical data, none of the methods examined showed a statistically significant difference in growth estimation from the radiologist.

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