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15 March 2011 Three-dimensional automatic computer-aided evaluation of pleural effusions on chest CT images
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The ability to estimate the volume of pleural effusions is desirable as it can provide information about the severity of the condition and the need for thoracentesis. We present here an improved version of an automated program to measure the volume of pleural effusions using regular chest CT images. First, the lungs are segmented using region growing, mathematical morphology, and anatomical knowledge. The visceral and parietal layers of the pleura are then extracted based on anatomical landmarks, curve fitting and active contour models. The liver and compressed tissues are segmented out using thresholding. The pleural space is then fitted to a Bezier surface which is subsequently projected onto the individual two-dimensional slices. Finally, the volume of the pleural effusion is quantified. Our method was tested on 15 chest CT studies and validated against three separate manual tracings. The Dice coefficients were 0.74±0.07, 0.74±0.08, and 0.75±0.07 respectively, comparable to the variation between two different manual tracings.
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Mark Bi, Ronald M. Summers, and Jianhua Yao "Three-dimensional automatic computer-aided evaluation of pleural effusions on chest CT images", Proc. SPIE 7965, Medical Imaging 2011: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 79651W (15 March 2011);

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