Fully automatic scheme for measuring liver volume in 3D MR images
Bio-medical materials and engineering
In this paper, a fully automatic scheme for measuring liver volume in 3D MR images was developed. The proposed MRI liver volumetry scheme consisted of four main stages. First, the preprocessing stage was applied to T1weighted MR images of the liver in the portal-venous phase to reduce noise. The histogram of the 3D image was determined, and the second-to-last peak of the histogram was calculated using a neural network. Thresholds, which are determined based upon the second-to-last peak, were
... -last peak, were used to generate a thresholding image. This thresholding image was refined using a gradient magnitude image. The morphological and connected component operations were applied to the refined image to generate the rough shape of the liver. A 3D geodesic-active-contour segmentation algorithm refined the rough shape in order to more precisely determine the liver boundaries. The liver volumes determined by the proposed automatic volumetry were compared to those manually traced by radiologists; these manual volumes were used as a "gold standard." The two volumetric methods reached an excellent agreement. The Dice overlap coefficient and the average accuracy were 91.0 ±2.8% and 99.0 ±0.4%, respectively. The mean processing time for the proposed automatic scheme was 1.02 ±0.08 min (CPU: Intel, core i7, 2.8GHz), whereas that of the manual volumetry was 24.3 ±3.7 min (p < 0.001).