A 3-D liver segmentation method with parallel computing for selective internal radiation therapy

IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2012 Jan;16(1):62-9. doi: 10.1109/TITB.2011.2171191. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


This study describes a new 3-D liver segmentation method in support of the selective internal radiation treatment as a treatment for liver tumors. This 3-D segmentation is based on coupling a modified k-means segmentation method with a special localized contouring algorithm. In the segmentation process, five separate regions are identified on the computerized tomography image frames. The merit of the proposed method lays in its potential to provide fast and accurate liver segmentation and 3-D rendering as well as in delineating tumor region(s), all with minimal user interaction. Leveraging of multicore platforms is shown to speed up the processing of medical images considerably, making this method more suitable in clinical settings. Experiments were performed to assess the effect of parallelization using up to 442 slices. Empirical results, using a single workstation, show a reduction in processing time from 4.5 h to almost 1 h for a 78% gain. Most important is the accuracy achieved in estimating the volumes of the liver and tumor region(s), yielding an average error of less than 2% in volume estimation over volumes generated on the basis of the current manually guided segmentation processes. Results were assessed using the analysis of variance statistical analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*