Robust 3-D airway tree segmentation for image-guided peripheral bronchoscopy

Michael W. Graham, Jason D. Gibbs, Duane C. Cornish, William E. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


A vital task in the planning of peripheral bronchoscopy is the segmentation of the airway tree from a 3-D multidetector computed tomography chest scan. Unfortunately, existing methods typically do not sufficiently extract the necessary peripheral airways needed to plan a procedure. We present a robust method that draws upon both local and global information. The method begins with a conservative segmentation of the major airways. Follow-on stages then exhaustively search for additional candidate airway locations. Finally, a graph-based optimization method counterbalances both the benefit and cost of retaining candidate airway locations for the final segmentation. Results demonstrate that the proposed method typically extracts 23 more generations of airways than several other methods, and that the extracted airway trees enable image-guided bronchoscopy deeper into the human lung periphery than past studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5437330
Pages (from-to)982-997
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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