Automatic Segmentation of Hepatic Tissue and 3D Volume Analysis of Cirrhosis in Multi-Detector Row CT Scans and MR Imaging

Xuejun ZHANG  Wenguang LI  Hiroshi FUJITA  Masayuki KANEMATSU  Takeshi HARA  Xiangrong ZHOU  Hiroshi KONDO  Hiroaki HOSHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E87-D   No.8   pp.2138-2147
Publication Date: 2004/08/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biological Engineering
MR imaging,  liver,  cirrhosis,  image segmentation,  contour detection,  

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The enlargement of the left lobe of the liver and the shrinkage of the right lobe are helpful signs at MR imaging in diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver. To investigate whether the volume ratio of left-to-whole (LTW) is effective to differentiate cirrhosis from a normal liver, we developed an automatic algorithm for three-dimensional (3D) segmentation and volume calculation of the liver region in multi-detector row CT scans and MR imaging. From one manually selected slice that contains a large liver area, two edge operators are applied to obtain the initial liver area, from which the mean gray value is calculated as threshold value in order to eliminate the connected organs or tissues. The final contour is re-confirmed by using thresholding technique. The liver region in the next slice is generated by referring to the result from the last slice. After continuous procedure of this segmentation on each slice, the 3D liver is reconstructed from all the extracted slices and the surface image can be displayed from different view points by using the volume rendering technique. The liver is then separated into the left and the right lobe by drawing an inter-segmental plane manually, and the volume in each part is calculated slice by slice. The degree of cirrhosis can be defined as the ratio of volume in these two lobes. Four cases including normal and cirrhotic liver with MR and CT slices are used for 3D segmentation and visualization. The volume ratio of LTW was relatively higher in cirrhosis than in the normal cases in both MR and CT cases. The average error rate on liver segmentation was within 5.6% after employing in 30 MR cases. These results demonstrate that the performance in our 3D segmentation was satisfied and the LTW ratio may be effective to differentiate cirrhosis.