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The main problem with airway segmentation methods which significantly influences their accuracy is leakage into the extra-luminal regions due to thinness of the airway wall during the process of segmentation. This phenomenon potentially makes large regions of lung-parenchyma to be wrongly identified as airways. A solution to this problem in the previous methods was based on leak detection followed by reducing leakage during the segmentation process. This has been dealt with adjusting the segmentation parameters and performing the re-segmentation process on the pre-segmented area. This makes the algorithm very exhaustive and more dependent on the user interaction. The method presented here is to apply a mathematical shape optimization approach embedded in an efficient fuzzy connectivity based segmentation algorithm to preserve shape features of the object to perform a precise segmentation. The novelty of our proposed scheme is to prevent the leakage root rather than taking leak detection and reduction approaches. This is carried out by minimizing a gradient based cost function which employs shape features of circle/cylindrical structure of airway tree during the process of segmentation.
Date of Conference: 20-25 Aug. 2008