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The use of image morphing to improve the detection of tumors in emission imaging

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4 Author(s)
C. Dykstra ; Duke Univ. Med. Center, Durham, NC, USA ; A. Celler ; K. Greer ; R. Jaszczak

Two of the limitations on the utility of SPECT and planar scintigraphy for the non-invasive detection of carcinoma are the small sizes of many tumors and the possible low contrast between the tumor uptake and the background. This is particularly true for breast imaging. Use of some form of image processing can improve the visibility of tumors which are at the limit of hardware resolution. Smoothing, by some form of image averaging, either during or after reconstruction, is widely used to reduce noise and thereby improve the detectability of regions of elevated activity. However, smoothing degrades resolution and, by averaging together closely spaced noise, may make noise look like a valid region of increased uptake. Image morphing by erosion and dilation does not average together image values; it instead selectively removes small features and irregularities from an image without changing the larger features. Application of morphing to emission images has shown that it does not, therefore, degrade resolution and does not always degrade contrast. For these reasons, it may be a better method of image processing for noise removal in some images. In this paper, we present a comparison of the effects of smoothing and morphing using breast and liver studies

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 3 )