Automatic atlas-based liver segmental anatomy identification for hepatic surgical planning

  • Omar Ibrahim AlirrEmail author
  • Ashrani Aizzuddin Abd. Rahni
Original Article



For the liver to remain viable, the resection during hepatectomy procedure should proceed along the major vessels; hence, the resection planes of the anatomic segments are defined, which mark the peripheries of the self-contained segments inside the liver. Liver anatomic segments identification represents an essential step in the preoperative planning for liver surgical resection treatment.


The method based on constructing atlases for the portal and the hepatic veins bifurcations, the atlas is used to localize the corresponding vein in each segmented vasculature using atlas matching. Point-based registration is used to deform the mesh of atlas to the vein branch. Three-dimensional distance map of the hepatic veins is constructed; the fast marching scheme is applied to extract the centerlines. The centerlines of the labeled major veins are extracted by defining the starting and the ending points of each labeled vein. Centerline is extracted by finding the shortest path between the two points. The extracted centerline is used to define the trajectories to plot the required planes between the anatomical segments.


The proposed approach is validated on the IRCAD database. Using visual inspection, the method succeeded to extract the major veins centerlines. Based on that, the anatomic segments are defined according to Couinaud segmental anatomy.


Automatic liver segmental anatomy identification assists the surgeons for liver analysis in a robust and reproducible way. The anatomic segments with other liver structures construct a 3D visualization tool that is used by the surgeons to study clearly the liver anatomy and the extension of the cancer inside the liver.


Liver segmental anatomy Surgical planning Atlas-based identification Abdominal CT 



This research is supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Grant No. GUP-2014-066).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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