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Summary Background Automated analysis of imaged histopathology specimens could potentially provide support for improved reliability in detection and classification in a range of investigative and clinical cancer applications. Automated segmentation of cells in the digitized tissue microarray (TMA) is often the prerequisite for quantitative analysis. However overlapping cells usually bring significant challenges for traditional segmentation algorithms. Objectives In this paper, we propose a novel, automatic algorithm to separate overlapping cells in stained histology specimens acquired using bright-field RGB imaging. Methods It starts by systematically identifying salient regions of interest throughout the image based upon their underlying visual content. The segmentation algorithm subsequently performs a quick, voting based seed detection. Finally, the contour of each cell is obtained using a repulsive level set deformable model using the seeds generated in the previous step. We compared the experimental results with the most current literature, and the pixel wise accuracy between human experts' annotation and those generated using the automatic segmentation algorithm. Results The method is tested with 100 image patches which contain more than 1000 overlapping cells. The overall precision and recall of the developed algorithm is 90% and 78%, respectively. We also implement the algorithm on GPU. The parallel implementation is 22 times faster than its C/C++ sequential implementation. Conclusion The proposed overlapping cell segmentation algorithm can accurately detect the center of each overlapping cell and effectively separate each of the overlapping cells. GPU is proven to be an efficient parallel platform for overlapping cell segmentation. PMID:22526139


On-board magnetic resonance (MR) image guidance during radiation therapy offers the potential for more accurate treatment delivery. To utilize the real-time image information, a crucial prerequisite is the ability to successfully segment and track regions of interest (ROI). The purpose of this work is to evaluate the performance of different segmentation algorithms using motion images (4 frames per second) acquired using a MR image-guided radiotherapy (MR-IGRT) system. Manual con-tours of the kidney, bladder, duodenum, and a liver tumor by an experienced radiation oncologist were used as the ground truth for performance evaluation. Besides the manual segmentation, images were automatically segmented using thresholding, fuzzy k-means (FKM), k-harmonic means (KHM), and reaction-diffusion level set evolution (RD-LSE) algorithms, as well as the tissue tracking algorithm provided by the ViewRay treatment planning and delivery system (VR-TPDS). The performance of the five algorithms was evaluated quantitatively by comparing with the manual segmentation using the Dice coefficient and target registration error (TRE) measured as the distance between the centroid of the manual ROI and the centroid of the automatically segmented ROI. All methods were able to successfully segment the bladder and the kidney, but only FKM, KHM, and VR-TPDS were able to segment the liver tumor and the duodenum. The performance of the thresholding, FKM, KHM, and RD-LSE algorithms degraded as the local image contrast decreased, whereas the performance of the VP-TPDS method was nearly independent of local image contrast due to the reference registration algorithm. For segmenting high-contrast images (i.e., kidney), the thresholding method provided the best speed (< 1 ms) with a satisfying accuracy (Dice = 0.95). When the image contrast was low, the VR-TPDS method had the best automatic contour. Results suggest an image quality determination procedure before segmentation and a combination of


Manual contouring of target volumes and organs at risk in radiation therapy is extremely time-consuming, in particular for treating the head-and-neck area, where a single patient treatment plan can take several hours to




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