A pattern recognition approach to zonal segmentation of the prostate on MRI

G. Litjens, O. Debats, W. van de Ven, N. Karssemeijer and H. Huisman

Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention 2012;7511:413-420.

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Zonal segmentation of the prostate into the central gland and peripheral zone is a useful tool in computer-aided detection of prostate cancer, because occurrence and characteristics of cancer in both zones differ substantially. In this paper we present a pattern recognition approach to segment the prostate zones. It incorporates three types of features that can differentiate between the two zones: anatomical, intensity and texture. It is evaluated against a multi-parametric multi-atlas based method using 48 multi-parametric MRI studies. Three observers are used to assess inter-observer variability and we compare our results against the state of the art from literature. Results show a mean Dice coefficient of 0.89 +/- 0.03 for the central gland and 0.75 +/- 0.07 for the peripheral zone, compared to 0.87 +/-0.04 and 0.76 +/- 0.06 in literature. Summarizing, a pattern recognition approach incorporating anatomy, intensity and texture has been shown to give good results in zonal segmentation of the prostate.