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In this paper, we present the segmentation of the head and neck lymph node regions using a new active contour-based atlas registration model. We propose to segment the lymph node regions without directly including them in the atlas registration process; instead, they are segmented using the dense deformation field computed from the registration of the atlas structures with distinct boundaries. This approach results in robust and accurate segmentation of the lymph node regions even in the presence of significant anatomical variations between the atlas-image and the patient's image to be segmented. We also present a quantitative evaluation of lymph node regions segmentation using various statistical as well as geometrical metrics: sensitivity, specificity, dice similarity coefficient and Hausdorff distance. A comparison of the proposed method with two other state of the art methods is presented. The robustness of the proposed method to the atlas selection, in segmenting the lymph node regions, is also evaluated.
Selected Topics in Signal Processing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:3 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009