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17 March 2008 Extraction and visualization of the central chest lymph-node stations
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Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is expected to account for nearly 30% of all cancer deaths in 2007. Central to the lung-cancer diagnosis and staging process is the assessment of the central chest lymph nodes. This assessment typically requires two major stages: (1) location of the lymph nodes in a three-dimensional (3D) high-resolution volumetric multi-detector computed-tomography (MDCT) image of the chest; (2) subsequent nodal sampling using transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA). We describe a computer-based system for automatically locating the central chest lymph-node stations in a 3D MDCT image. Automated analysis methods are first run that extract the airway tree, airway-tree centerlines, aorta, pulmonary artery, lungs, key skeletal structures, and major-airway labels. This information provides geometrical and anatomical cues for localizing the major nodal stations. Our system demarcates these stations, conforming to criteria outlined for the Mountain and Wang standard classification systems. Visualization tools within the system then enable the user to interact with these stations to locate visible lymph nodes. Results derived from a set of human 3D MDCT chest images illustrate the usage and efficacy of the system.
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Kongkuo Lu, Scott A. Merritt, and William E. Higgins "Extraction and visualization of the central chest lymph-node stations", Proc. SPIE 6915, Medical Imaging 2008: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 69151B (17 March 2008);

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