The human colon has complex geometric structures because of its haustral folds, which are thin flat protrusions on the colon wall. The haustral loop is the curve (approximately triangular in shape) that encircles the highly convex region of the haustral fold, and is regarded as the natural landmark of the colon, intersecting the longitude of the colon in the middle. Haustral loop extraction can assist in reducing the structural complexity of the colon, and the loops can also serve as anatomic markers for computed tomographic colonography (CTC). Moreover, haustral loop sectioning of the colon can help with the performance of precise prone–supine registration.
We propose an accurate approach of extracting haustral loops for CT virtual colonoscopy based on geodesics. First, the longitudinal geodesic (LG) connecting the start and end points is tracked by the geodesic method and the colon is cut along the LG. Second, key points are extracted from the LG, after which paired points that are used for seeking the potential haustral loops are calculated according to the key points. Next, for each paired point, the shortest distance (geodesic line) between the paired points twice is calculated, namely one on the original surface and the other on the cut surface. Then, the two geodesics are combined to form a potential haustral loop. Finally, erroneous and nonstandard potential loops are removed.
To evaluate the haustral loop extraction algorithm, we first utilized the algorithm to extract the haustral loops. Then, we let the clinicians determine whether the haustral loops were correct and then identify the missing haustral loops. The extraction algorithm successfully detected 91.87% of all of the haustral loops with a very low false positive rate.
We believe that haustral loop extraction may benefit many post-procedures in CTC, such as supine–prone registration, computer-aided diagnosis, and taenia coli extraction.
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- Haustral loop extraction for CT colonography using geodesics
- Springer International Publishing
International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
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