TU-CD-BRA-12: Coupling PET Image Restoration and Segmentation Using Variational Method with Multiple Regularizations




To propose a new variational method which couples image restoration with tumor segmentation for PET images using multiple regularizations.


Partial volume effect (PVE) is a major degrading factor impacting tumor segmentation accuracy in PET imaging. The existing segmentation methods usually need to take prior calibrations to compensate PVE and they are highly system-dependent. Taking into account that image restoration and segmentation can promote each other and they are tightly coupled, we proposed a variational method to solve the two problems together. Our method integrated total variation (TV) semi-blind deconvolution and Mumford-Shah (MS) segmentation. The TV norm was used on edges to protect the edge information, and the L₂ norm was used to avoid staircase effect in the no-edge area. The blur kernel was constrained to the Gaussian model parameterized by its variance and we assumed that the variances in the X-Y and Z directions are different. The energy functional was iteratively optimized by an alternate minimization algorithm. Segmentation performance was tested on eleven patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and evaluated by Dice similarity index (DSI) and classification error (CE). For comparison, seven other widely used methods were also tested and evaluated.


The combination of TV and L₂ regularizations effectively improved the segmentation accuracy. The average DSI increased by around 0.1 than using either the TV or the L₂ norm. The proposed method was obviously superior to other tested methods. It has an average DSI and CE of 0.80 and 0.41, while the FCM method — the second best one — has only an average DSI and CE of 0.66 and 0.64.


Coupling image restoration and segmentation can handle PVE and thus improves tumor segmentation accuracy in PET. Alternate use of TV and L2 regularizations can further improve the performance of the algorithm.

This work was supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), under Grant No.61375018, and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, under Grant No. 2012QN086. Wei Lu was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant No. R01 CA172638.