SU-D-BRA-04: Fractal Dimension Analysis of Edge-Detected Rectal Cancer CTs for Outcome Prediction




To extract the fractal dimension features from edge-detected rectal cancer CTs, and to examine the predictability of fractal dimensions to outcomes of primary rectal cancer patients.


Ninety-seven rectal cancer patients treated with neo-adjuvant chemoradiation were enrolled in this study. CT images were obtained before chemoradiotherapy. The primary lesions of the rectal cancer were delineated by experienced radiation oncologists. These images were extracted and filtered by six different Laplacian of Gaussian (LoG) filters with different filter values (0.5–3.0: from fine to coarse) to achieve primary lesions in different anatomical scales. Edges of the original images were found at zero-crossings of the filtered images. Three different fractal dimensions (box-counting dimension, Minkowski dimension, mass dimension) were calculated upon the image slice with the largest cross-section of the primary lesion. The significance of these fractal dimensions in survival, recurrence and metastasis were examined by Student's t-test.


For a follow-up time of two years, 18 of 97 patients had experienced recurrence, 24 had metastasis, and 18 were dead. Minkowski dimensions under large filter values (2.0, 2.5, 3.0) were significantly larger (p=0.014, 0.006, 0.015) in patients with recurrence than those without. For metastasis, only box-counting dimensions under a single filter value (2.5) showed differences (p=0.016) between patients with and without. For overall survival, box-counting dimensions (filter values = 0.5, 1.0, 1.5), Minkowski dimensions (filter values = 0.5, 1.5, 2.0, 2,5) and mass dimensions (filter values = 1.5, 2.0) were all significant (p<0.05).


It is feasible to extract shape information by edge detection and fractal dimensions analysis in neo-adjuvant rectal cancer patients. This information can be used to prognosis prediction.