Extraction of airways from CT (EXACT’09)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Pechin Chien Pau Lo
  • Bram van Ginneken
  • Joseph M. Reinhardt
  • Tarunashree Yavarna
  • Pim A. de Jong
  • Benjamin Irving
  • Catalin Fetita
  • Margarete Ortner
  • Rômulo Pinho
  • Jan Sijbers
  • Marco Feuerstein
  • Anna Fabijanska
  • Christian Bauer
  • Reinhard Beichel
  • Carlos S. Mendoza
  • Rafael Wiemker
  • Jaesung Lee
  • Anthony P. Reeves
  • Silvia Born
  • Oliver Weinheimer
  • Eva M. van Rikxoort
  • Juerg Tschirren
  • Ken Mori
  • Benjamin Odry
  • David P. Naidich
  • Ieneke Hartmann
  • Eric A. Hoffman
  • Mathias Prokop
  • Jesper H. Pedersen
This paper describes a framework for establishing a
reference airway tree segmentation, which was used to quantitatively
evaluate 15 different airway tree extraction algorithms in
a standardized manner. Because of the sheer difficulty involved
in manually constructing a complete reference standard from
scratch, we propose to construct the reference using results from
all algorithms that are to be evaluated. We start by subdividing
each segmented airway tree into its individual branch segments.
Each branch segment is then visually scored by trained observers
to determine whether or not it is a correctly segmented part of the
airway tree. Finally, the reference airway trees are constructed by
taking the union of all correctly extracted branch segments. Fifteen
airway tree extraction algorithms from different research groups
are evaluated on a diverse set of 20 chest computed tomography
(CT) scans of subjects ranging from healthy volunteers to patients
with severe pathologies, scanned at different sites, with different
CT scanner brands, models, and scanning protocols. Three performance
measures covering different aspects of segmentation
quality were computed for all participating algorithms. Results
from the evaluation showed that no single algorithm could extract
more than an average of 74% of the total length of all branches in
the reference standard, indicating substantial differences between the algorithms. A fusion scheme that obtained superior results is
presented, demonstrating that there is complementary information
provided by the different algorithms and there is still room
for further improvements in airway segmentation algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2093-2107
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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