Detection of Lung Contour with Closed Principal Curve and Machine Learning

  • Tao Peng
  • Yihuai Wang
  • Thomas Canhao Xu
  • Lianmin Shi
  • Jianwu Jiang
  • Shilang Zhu


Radiation therapy plays an essential role in the treatment of cancer. In radiation therapy, the ideal radiation doses are delivered to the observed tumor while not affecting neighboring normal tissues. In three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) scans, the contours of tumors and organs-at-risk (OARs) are often manually delineated by radiologists. The task is complicated and time-consuming, and the manually delineated results will be variable from different radiologists. We propose a semi-supervised contour detection algorithm, which firstly uses a few points of region of interest (ROI) as an approximate initialization. Then the data sequences are achieved by the closed polygonal line (CPL) algorithm, where the data sequences consist of the ordered projection indexes and the corresponding initial points. Finally, the smooth lung contour can be obtained, when the data sequences are trained by the backpropagation neural network model (BNNM). We use the private clinical dataset and the public Lung Image Database Consortium and Image Database Resource Initiative (LIDC-IDRI) dataset to measure the accuracy of the presented method, respectively. To the private dataset, experimental results on the initial points which are as low as 15% of the manually delineated points show that the Dice coefficient reaches up to 0.95 and the global error is as low as 1.47 × 10−2. The performance of the proposed algorithm is also better than the cubic spline interpolation (CSI) algorithm. While on the public LIDC-IDRI dataset, our method achieves superior segmentation performance with average Dice of 0.83.


Lung contour Principal curve Closed polygonal line algorithm Machine learning 



The authors would like to thank the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University for their support.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 61672369) and the National Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Nos.17KJB520035 and 17KJB520037).


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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science & TechnologySoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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