Minimally invasive procedures for the kidney tumour removal require a 3D visualization of topological relations between kidney, cancer, the pelvicalyceal system and the renal vascular tree. In this paper, a novel methodology of the pelvicalyceal system segmentation is presented. It consists of four following steps: ROI designation, automatic threshold calculation for binarization (approximation of the histogram image data with three exponential functions), automatic extraction of the pelvicalyceal system parts and segmentation by the Locally Adaptive Region Growing algorithm. The proposed method was applied successfully on the Computed Tomography database consisting of 48 kidneys both healthy and cancer affected. The quantitative evaluation (comparison to manual segmentation) and visual assessment proved its effectiveness. The Dice Coefficient of Similarity is equal to 0.871 ± 0.060 and the average Hausdorff distance 0.46 ± 0.36 mm. Additionally, to provide a reliable assessment of the proposed method, it was compared with three other methods. The proposed method is robust regardless of the image acquisition mode, spatial resolution and range of image values. The same framework may be applied to further medical applications beyond preoperative planning for partial nephrectomy enabling to visually assess and to measure the pelvicalyceal system by medical doctors.
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