Computer-aided focal liver lesion detection

Yanling Chi, Jiayin Zhou, Sudhakar K. Venkatesh, Su Huang, Qi Tian, Tiffany Hennedige, Jimin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our aim is to develop an automatic method which can detect diverse focal liver lesions (FLLs) in 3D CT volumes. Method: A hybrid generative-discriminative framework is proposed. It first uses a generative model to describe non-lesion components and then identifies all candidate FLLs within a 3D liver volume by eliminating non-lesion components. It subsequently uses a discriminative approach to suppress false positives with the advantage of tumoroid, a novel measurement combining three shape features spherical symmetry, compactness and size. Results: This method was tested on 71 abdominal CT datasets (5,854 slices from 61 patients, with 261 FLLs covering six pathological types) and evaluated using the free-response receiver operating characteristic (FROC) curves. Overall, it achieved a true positive rate of 90 % with one false positive per liver. It degenerated gently with the decrease in lesion sizes to 30 ml. It achieved a true-positive rate of 36 % when tested on the lesions less than 4 ml. The average computing time of the lesion detection is 4 min and 28 s per CT volume on a PC with 2.67 GHz CPU and 4.0 GB RAM. Conclusions: The proposed method is comparable to the radiologists' visual investigation in terms of efficiency. The tool has great potential to reduce radiologists' burden in going through thousands of images routinely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-525
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • 3D focal liver lesion detection
  • Background subtraction
  • Computer-aided detection
  • Non-lesion modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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