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The aim of this paper is to introduce a variational image segmentation method for assessing the aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the human colon captured in vivo by endoscopy. ACF are thought to be precursors for colorectal cancer, and therefore their early detection may play an important clinical role. We enhance the active contours without edges model of Chan and Vese to account for the ACF's particular structure. We employ level sets to represent the segmentation boundaries and discretize in space by finite elements and in (artificial) time by finite differences. The approach is able to identify the ACF, their boundaries, and some of the internal crypts' orifices.
Date of Publication: April 2010