Hierarchical pictorial structures for simultaneously localizing multiple organs in volumetric pre-scan CT

Albert Montillo, Qi Song, Bipul Das, Zhye Yin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Parsing volumetric computed tomography (CT) into 10 or more salient organs simultaneously is a challenging task with many applications such as personalized scan planning and dose reporting. In the clinic, pre-scan data can come in the form of very low dose volumes acquired just prior to the primary scan or from an existing primary scan. To localize organs in such diverse data, we propose a new learning based framework that we call hierarchical pictorial structures (HPS) which builds multiple levels of models in a tree-like hierarchy that mirrors the natural decomposition of human anatomy from gross structures to finer structures. Each node of our hierarchical model learns (1) the local appearance and shape of structures, and (2) a generative global model that learns probabilistic, structural arrangement. Our main contribution is twofold. First we embed the pictorial structures approach in a hierarchical framework which reduces test time image interpretation and allows for the incorporation of additional geometric constraints that robustly guide model fitting in the presence of noise. Second we guide our HPS framework with the probabilistic cost maps extracted using random decision forests using volumetric 3D HOG features which makes our model fast to train and fast to apply to novel test data and posses a high degree of invariance to shape distortion and imaging artifacts. All steps require approximate 3 mins to compute and all organs are located with suitably high accuracy for our clinical applications such as personalized scan planning for radiation dose reduction. We assess our method using a database of volumetric CT scans from 81 subjects with widely varying age and pathology and with simulated ultra-low dose cadaver pre-scan data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditorsMartin A. Styner, Sebastien Ourselin
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415032
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Image Processing - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2015Feb 26 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2015: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • 3D HOG image descriptor
  • hierarchical pictorial structures
  • probabilistic decision forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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