Extraction and visualization of the central chest lymph-node stations

Kongkuo Lu, Scott A. Merritt, William E. Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Lung cancel remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is expected to account for nearly 30% of all cancer deaths in 2007. Central to the lung-cancer diagnosis and staging process is the assessment of the central chest lymph nodes. This assessment typically requires two major stages: (1) location of the lymph nodes in a three-dimensional (3D) high-resolution volumetric multi-detector computed-tomography (MDCT) image of the chest; (2) subsequent nodal sampling using transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA). We describe a computer-based system for automatically locating the central chest lymph-node stations in a 3D MDCT image. Automated analysis methods are first run that extract the airway tree, airway-tree centerlines, aorta, pulmonary artery, lungs, key skeletal structures, and major-airway labels. This information provides geometrical and anatomical cues for localizing the major nodal stations. Our system demarcates these stations, conforming to criteria outlined for the Mountain and Wang standard classification systems. Visualization tools within the system then enable the user to interact with these stations to locate visible lymph nodes. Results derived from a set of human 3D MDCT chest images illustrate the usage and efficacy of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2008 - Computer-Aided Diagnosis
StatePublished - 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008 - Computer-Aided Diagnosis - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 19 2008Feb 21 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2008 - Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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