Sequential Registration-Based Segmentation of the Prostate Gland in MR Image Volumes

Farzad Khalvati, Aryan Salmanpour, Shahryar Rahnamayan, Masoom A. Haider, H. R. Tizhoosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate and fast segmentation and volume estimation of the prostate gland in magnetic resonance (MR) images are necessary steps in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of prostate cancer. This paper presents an algorithm for the prostate gland volume estimation based on the semi-automated segmentation of individual slices in T2-weighted MR image sequences. The proposed sequential registration-based segmentation (SRS) algorithm, which was inspired by the clinical workflow during medical image contouring, relies on inter-slice image registration and user interaction/correction to segment the prostate gland without the use of an anatomical atlas. It automatically generates contours for each slice using a registration algorithm, provided that the user edits and approves the marking in some previous slices. We conducted comprehensive experiments to measure the performance of the proposed algorithm using three registration methods (i.e., rigid, affine, and nonrigid). Five radiation oncologists participated in the study where they contoured the prostate MR (T2-weighted) images of 15 patients both manually and using the SRS algorithm. Compared to the manual segmentation, on average, the SRS algorithm reduced the contouring time by 62 % (a speedup factor of 2.64×) while maintaining the segmentation accuracy at the same level as the intra-user agreement level (i.e., Dice similarity coefficient of 91 versus 90 %). The proposed algorithm exploits the inter-slice similarity of volumetric MR image series to achieve highly accurate results while significantly reducing the contouring time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-263
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Image registration
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Prostate segmentation
  • Prostate volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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