Automatic Electronic Cleansing in Computed Tomography Colonography Images using Domain Knowledge


Electronic cleansing is an image post processing technique in which the tagged colonic content is subtracted from colon using CTC images. There are post processing artefacts, like: 1) soft tissue degradation; 2) incomplete cleansing; 3) misclassification of polyp due to pseudo enhanced voxels; and 4) pseudo soft tissue structures. The objective of the study was to subtract the tagged colonic content without losing the soft tissue structures. This paper proposes a novel adaptive method to solve the first three problems using a multi-step algorithm. It uses a new edge model-based method which involves colon segmentation, priori information of Hounsfield units (HU) of different colonic contents at specific tube voltages, subtracting the tagging materials, restoring the soft tissue structures based on selective HU, removing boundary between air contrast, and applying a filter to clean minute particles due to improperly tagged endoluminal fluids which appear as noise. The main finding of the study was submerged soft tissue structures were absolutely preserved and the pseudo enhanced intensities were corrected without any artifact. The method was implemented with multithreading for parallel processing in a high performance computer. The technique was applied on a fecal tagged dataset (30 patients) where the tagging agent was not completely removed from colon. The results were then qualitatively validated by radiologists for any image processing artifacts.