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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5428737, 13 pages
Research Article

Functional Region Annotation of Liver CT Image Based on Vascular Tree

1Research Center of CAD, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2School of Computer Engineering and Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
3College of Science and Technology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
4School of Statistics and Management, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China

Received 2 June 2016; Revised 24 July 2016; Accepted 4 August 2016

Academic Editor: Quan Zou

Copyright © 2016 Yufei Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anatomical analysis of liver region is critical in diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases. The reports of liver region annotation are helpful for doctors to precisely evaluate liver system. One of the challenging issues is to annotate the functional regions of liver through analyzing Computed Tomography (CT) images. In this paper, we propose a vessel-tree-based liver annotation method for CT images. The first step of the proposed annotation method is to extract the liver region including vessels and tumors from the CT scans. And then a 3-dimensional thinning algorithm is applied to obtain the spatial skeleton and geometric structure of liver vessels. With the vessel skeleton, the topology of portal veins is further formulated by a directed acyclic graph with geometrical attributes. Finally, based on the topological graph, a hierarchical vascular tree is constructed to divide the liver into eight segments according to Couinaud classification theory and thereby annotate the functional regions. Abundant experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is effective for precise liver annotation and helpful to support liver disease diagnosis.