Vertebral body segmentation using aggregate superpixels
This work presents a new automated method for spinal canal detection in Computed Tomography (CT) images. It uses both 2D and 3D information and the algorithm extracts the spinal canal automatically. The procedure can be divided into three main steps. Firstly, a thresholding and a set of morphological operations were applied. Secondly, 3D connectivity analysis was defined to extract the objects forming part of the spinal canal. Finally, the centroid of each slice constituting the spinal canal object was computed. Furthermore, interpolation and extrapolation of data were performed, if required. The method was applied on two different groups, each one coming from different acquisition systems. A total of 25 patients and 8704 images were used. An experienced radiologist evaluated the method qualitatively supporting the utility of it, as all extracted points fell into the spinal canal. Therefore, our method was able to reduce the workload and detect spinal canal objectively. We expect to carry out a quantitative evaluation in our future research. The qualitative outcome of this work suggests promising results.