Vessel tree segmentation in presence of interstitial lung disease in MDCT

Panayiotis D. Korfiatis, Cristina Kalogeropoulou, Anna N. Karahaliou, Alexandra D. Kazantzi, Lena I. Costaridou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The automated segmentation of vessel tree structures is a crucial preprocessing stage in computer aided diagnosis (CAD) schemes of interstitial lung disease (ILD) patterns in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). The accuracy of such preprocessing stages is expected to influence the accuracy of lung CAD schemes. Although algorithms aimed at improving the accuracy of lung fields segmentation in presence of ILD have been reported, the corresponding vessel tree segmentation stage is under-researched. Furthermore, previously reported vessel tree segmentation methods have only dealt with normal lung parenchyma. In this paper, an automated vessel tree segmentation scheme is proposed, adapted to the presence of pathologies affecting lung parenchyma. The first stage of themethod accounts for a recently proposedmethod utilizing a 3-D multiscale vessel enhancement filter based on eigenvalue analysis of the Hessian matrix and on unsupervised segmentation. The second stage of the method is a texture-based voxel classification refinement to correct possible over-segmentation. The performance of the proposed scheme, and of the previously reported technique, in vessel tree segmentation was evaluated by means of area overlap (previously reported: 0.715 ± 0.082, proposed: 0.931 ± 0.027), true positive fraction (previously reported: 0.968 ± 0.019, proposed: 0.935 ± 0.036) and false positive fraction (previously reported: 0.400 ± 0.181, proposed: 0.074 ± 0.031) on a dataset of 210 axial slices originating from seven ILD affected patient scans (used for performance evaluation out of 15). The proposed method demonstrated a statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher performance as compared to the previously reported vessel tree segmentation technique. The impact of suboptimal vessel tree segmentation in a reticular pattern quantification system is also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5710981
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Computed tomography
  • image enhancement
  • image segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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