Reduction of false positives by internal features for polyp detection in CT-based virtual colonoscopy



In this paper, we present a computer-aided detection (CAD) method to extract and use internal features to reduce false positive (FP) rate generated by surface-based measures on the inner colon wall in computed tomographic (CT) colonography. Firstly, a new shape description global curvature, which can provide an overall shape description of the colon wall, is introduced to improve the detection of suspicious patches on the colon wall whose geometrical features are similar to that of the colonic polyps. By a ray-driven edge finder, the volume of each detected patch is extracted as a fitted ellipsoid model. Within the ellipsoid model, CT image density distribution is analyzed. Three types of (geometrical, morphological, and textural) internal features are extracted and applied to eliminate the FPs from the detected patches. The presented CAD method was tested by a total of 153 patient datasets in which 45 patients were found with 61 polyps of sizes 4–30 mm by optical colonoscopy. For a 100% detection sensitivity (on polyps), the presented CAD method had an average FPs of 2.68 per patient dataset and eliminated 93.1% of FPs generated by the surface-based measures. The presented CAD method was also evaluated by different polyp sizes. For polyp sizes of 10–30 mm, the method achieved mean number of FPs per dataset of 2.0 with 100% sensitivity. For polyp sizes of 4–10 mm, the method achieved 3.44 FP per dataset with 100% sensitivity.