Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

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M. Feuerstein, D. Deguchi, T. Kitasaka, S. Iwano, K. Imaizumi, Y. Hasegawa, Y. Suenaga, K. Mori
Automatic Mediastinal Lymph Node Detection in Chest CT
SPIE Medical Imaging, Orlando, Florida, USA, February 2009 (bib)

Computed tomography (CT) of the chest is a very common staging investigation for the assessment of mediastinal lymph nodes in the context of lung cancer. In the current clinical workflow, the detection and assessment of lymph nodes is usually performed manually, which can be error-prone and time-consuming. We therefore propose a method for the automatic detection of mediastinal lymph node candidates in contrast-enhanced chest CT. Based on the segmentation of important mediastinal anatomy (bronchial tree, aortic arch) and making use of anatomical knowledge, we utilize Hessian eigenvalues to detect lymph node candidates. As lymph nodes can be characterized as blob-like structures of varying size and shape within a specific intensity interval, we can utilize these characteristics to reduce the number of false positive candidates significantly. We applied our method to 5 cases suspected to have lung cancer. The processing time of our algorithm did not exceed 5 minutes, and we achieved an average sensitivity of 82.1% and an average precision of 12.5%.
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