Multi-Resolution Level Sets with Shape Priors: A Validation Report for 2D Segmentation of Prostate Gland in T2W MR Images

Fares S. Al-Qunaieer, Hamid R. Tizhoosh, Shahryar Rahnamayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The level set approach to segmentation of medical images has received considerable attention in recent years. Evolving an initial contour to converge to anatomical boundaries of an organ or tumor is a very appealing method, especially when it is based on a well-defined mathematical foundation. However, one drawback of such evolving method is its high computation time. It is desirable to design and implement algorithms that are not only accurate and robust but also fast in execution. Bresson et al. have proposed a variational model using both boundary and region information as well as shape priors. The latter can be a significant factor in medical image analysis. In this work, we combine the variational model of level set with a multi-resolution approach to accelerate the processing. The question is whether a multi-resolution context can make the segmentation faster without affecting the accuracy. As well, we investigate the question whether a premature convergence, which happens in a much shorter time, would reduce accuracy. We examine multiple semiautomated configurations to segment the prostate gland in T2W MR images. Comprehensive experimentation is conducted using a data set of a 100 patients (1,235 images) to verify the effectiveness of the multi-resolution level set with shape priors. The results show that the convergence speed can be increased by a factor of ≈ 2.5 without affecting the segmentation accuracy. Furthermore, a premature convergence approach drastically increases the segmentation speed by a factor of ≈ 17.9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-847
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 6 2014


  • Image processing
  • Image segmentation
  • Level set segmentation
  • MR imaging
  • Multi-resolution
  • Prostate segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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