Semi-Automatic Segmentation of Prostate in CT Images via Coupled Feature Representation and Spatial-Constrained Transductive Lasso

Yinghuan Shi, Yaozong Gao, Shu Liao, Daoqiang Zhang, Yang Gao, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional learning-based methods for segmenting prostate in CT images ignore the relations among the low-level features by assuming all these features are independent. Also, their feature selection steps usually neglect the image appearance changes in different local regions of CT images. To this end, we present a novel semi-automatic learning-based prostate segmentation method in this article. For segmenting the prostate in a certain treatment image, the radiation oncologist will be first asked to take a few seconds to manually specify the first and last slices of the prostate. Then, prostate is segmented with the following two steps: (i) Estimation of 3D prostate-likelihood map to predict the likelihood of each voxel being prostate by employing the coupled feature representation, and the proposed Spatial-COnstrained Transductive LassO (SCOTO); (ii) Multi-atlases based label fusion to generate the final segmentation result by using the prostate shape information obtained from both planning and previous treatment images. The major contribution of the proposed method mainly includes: (i) incorporating radiation oncologist's manual specification to aid segmentation, (ii) adopting coupled features to relax previous assumption of feature independency for voxel representation, and (iii) developing SCOTO for joint feature selection across different local regions. The experimental result shows that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in a real-world prostate CT dataset, consisting of 24 patients with totally 330 images, all of which were manually delineated by the radiation oncologist for performance evaluation. Moreover, our method is also clinically feasible, since the segmentation performance can be improved by just requiring the radiation oncologist to spend only a few seconds for manual specification of ending slices in the current treatment CT image.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7089297
Pages (from-to)2286-2303
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1


  • Prostate segmentation
  • feature representation
  • feature selection
  • label fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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