Conference Paper

A Novel Approach for Automatic Follow-Up of Detected Lung Nodules

Louisville Univ., Louisville
DOI: 10.1109/ICIP.2007.4379875 Conference: Image Processing, 2007. ICIP 2007. IEEE International Conference on, Volume: 5
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Our long term research goal is to develop an image-based approach for early diagnosis of lung nodules that may lead to lung cancer. This paper focuses on monitoring the progress of detected lung nodules in successive chest low dose CT (LDCT) scans of a patient using non-rigid registration. In this paper, we propose a new methodology for 3D LDCT data registration. The registration methodology is non-rigid and involves two steps: global alignment of one scan (target data) to another scan (reference data) using the learned prior appearance model followed by local alignments in order to correct for intricate deformations. From two subsequent chest scans, visual appearance of the chest images, after equalizing their signals, are modeled with a Markov-Gibbs random field with pairwise interaction. Our approach is based on finding the affine transformation to register one data set (target data) to another data set (reference data) by maximizing a special Gibbs energy function using a gradient descent algorithm. To get accurate appearance model, we developed a new approach to an automatically select the most important cliques that describe the visual appearance of LDCT data. To handle local deformations, we propose a new approach based on deforming each voxel over evolving closed and equi-spaced surfaces (iso-surfaces) to closely match the prototype. The evolution of the iso-surfaces is guided by an exponential speed function in the directions minimizing distances between corresponding pixel pairs on the iso-surfaces on both data sets. Our preliminary results on 10 patients show that the proper registration could lead to precise identification of the progress of the detected lung nodules.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper overviews one of the most important, interesting, and challenging problems in oncology, the problem of lung cancer diagnosis. Developing an effective computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system for lung cancer is of great clinical importance and can increase the patient's chance of survival. For this reason, CAD systems for lung cancer have been investigated in a huge number of research studies. A typical CAD system for lung cancer diagnosis is composed of four main processing steps: segmentation of the lung fields, detection of nodules inside the lung fields, segmentation of the detected nodules, and diagnosis of the nodules as benign or malignant. This paper overviews the current state-of-the-art techniques that have been developed to implement each of these CAD processing steps. For each technique, various aspects of technical issues, implemented methodologies, training and testing databases, and validation methods, as well as achieved performances, are described. In addition, the paper addresses several challenges that researchers face in each implementation step and outlines the strengths and drawbacks of the existing approaches for lung cancer CAD systems.
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