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Fuzzy hidden Markov chains segmentation for volume determination and quantitation in PET.

Abstract : Accurate volume of interest (VOI) estimation in PET is crucial in different oncology applications such as response to therapy evaluation and radiotherapy treatment planning. The objective of our study was to evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm for automatic lesion volume delineation; namely the fuzzy hidden Markov chains (FHMC), with that of current state of the art in clinical practice threshold based techniques. As the classical hidden Markov chain (HMC) algorithm, FHMC takes into account noise, voxel intensity and spatial correlation, in order to classify a voxel as background or functional VOI. However the novelty of the fuzzy model consists of the inclusion of an estimation of imprecision, which should subsequently lead to a better modelling of the 'fuzzy' nature of the object of interest boundaries in emission tomography data. The performance of the algorithms has been assessed on both simulated and acquired datasets of the IEC phantom, covering a large range of spherical lesion sizes (from 10 to 37 mm), contrast ratios (4:1 and 8:1) and image noise levels. Both lesion activity recovery and VOI determination tasks were assessed in reconstructed images using two different voxel sizes (8 mm3 and 64 mm3). In order to account for both the functional volume location and its size, the concept of % classification errors was introduced in the evaluation of volume segmentation using the simulated datasets. Results reveal that FHMC performs substantially better than the threshold based methodology for functional volume determination or activity concentration recovery considering a contrast ratio of 4:1 and lesion sizes of <28 mm. Furthermore differences between classification and volume estimation errors evaluated were smaller for the segmented volumes provided by the FHMC algorithm. Finally, the performance of the automatic algorithms was less susceptible to image noise levels in comparison to the threshold based techniques. The analysis of both simulated and acquired datasets led to similar results and conclusions as far as the performance of segmentation algorithms under evaluation is concerned.
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Contributor : Mathieu Hatt <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 6, 2009 - 2:28:00 PM
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Mathieu Hatt, Frédéric Lamare, Nicolas Boussion, Christian Roux, Alexandre Turzo, et al.. Fuzzy hidden Markov chains segmentation for volume determination and quantitation in PET.. Physics in Medicine and Biology, IOP Publishing, 2007, 52 (12), pp.3467-91. ⟨10.1088/0031-9155/52/12/010⟩. ⟨inserm-00150348⟩

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