Author(s): J Zhang, C H Yan, C K Chui, S H Ong
Fast bone segmentation is often important in computer-aided medical systems. Thresholding-based techniques have been widely used to identify the object of interest (bone) against dark backgrounds. However, the darker areas that are often present in bone tissue may adversely affect the results obtained using existing thresholding-based segmentation methods. We propose an automatic, fast, robust and accurate method for the segmentation of bone using 3D adaptive thresholding. An initial segmentation is first performed to partition the image into bone and non-bone classes, followed by an iterative process of 3D correlation to update voxel classification. This iterative process significantly improves the thresholding performance. A post-processing step of 3D region growing is used to extract the required bone region. The proposed algorithm can achieve sub-voxel accuracy very rapidly. In our experiments, the segmentation of a CT image set required on average less than 10s per slice. This execution time can be further reduced by optimizing the iterative convergence process.