Hierarchies and shape-space for pet image segmentation

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image segmentation is essential for detecting lesions and quantifying their metabolic activity. Due to the spatial and spectral properties of PET images, most methods rely on intensity-based strategies. Recent methods also propose to integrate anatomical priors to improve the segmentation process. In this article, we show how the hierarchical approaches proposed in mathematical morphology can efficiently handle these different strategies. Our contribution is twofold.

First, we present the component-tree as a relevant data-structure for developing interactive, real-time, intensity-based segmentation of PET images. Second, we prove that thanks to the recent concept of shaping, we can efficiently involve a priori knowledge for lesion segmentation, while preserving the good properties of component-tree segmentation. Preliminary experiments on synthetic and real PET images of lymphoma demonstrate the relevance of our approach.

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