3D ultrasound image segmentation using wavelet support vector machines

Hamed Akbari, Baowei Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose: Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) imaging is clinically used in prostate biopsy and therapy. Segmentation of the prostate on TRUS images has many applications. In this study, a three-dimensional (3D) segmentation method for TRUS images of the prostate is presented for 3D ultrasound-guided biopsy. Methods: This segmentation method utilizes a statistical shape, texture information, and intensity profiles. A set of wavelet support vector machines (W-SVMs) is applied to the images at various subregions of the prostate. The W-SVMs are trained to adaptively capture the features of the ultrasound images in order to differentiate the prostate and nonprostate tissue. This method consists of a set of wavelet transforms for extraction of prostate texture features and a kernel-based support vector machine to classify the textures. The voxels around the surface of the prostate are labeled in sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes. The weight functions are defined for each labeled voxel on each plane and on the model at each region. In the 3D segmentation procedure, the intensity profiles around the boundary between the tentatively labeled prostate and nonprostate tissue are compared to the prostate model. Consequently, the surfaces are modified based on the model intensity profiles. The segmented prostate is updated and compared to the shape model. These two steps are repeated until they converge. Manual segmentation of the prostate serves as the gold standard and a variety of methods are used to evaluate the performance of the segmentation method. Results: The results from 40 TRUS image volumes of 20 patients show that the Dice overlap ratio is 90.3 ± 2.3 and that the sensitivity is 87.7 ± 4.9. Conclusions: The proposed method provides a useful tool in our 3D ultrasound image-guided prostate biopsy and can also be applied to other applications in the prostate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2972-2984
Number of pages13
JournalMedical physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • image segmentation
  • kernel-based support vector machine
  • prostate model
  • statistical shape model
  • three-dimensional ultrasound imaging
  • transrectal ultrasound imaging
  • wavelet based texture extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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