Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kayvan Najarian


In recent decades, more types and quantities of medical data have been collected due to advanced technology. A large number of significant and critical information is contained in these medical data. High efficient and automated computational methods are urgently needed to process and analyze all available medical data in order to provide the physicians with recommendations and predictions on diagnostic decisions and treatment planning. Traumatic pelvic injury is a severe yet common injury in the United States, often caused by motor vehicle accidents or fall. Information contained in the pelvic Computed Tomography (CT) images is very important for assessing the severity and prognosis of traumatic pelvic injuries. Each pelvic CT scan includes a large number of slices. Meanwhile, each slice contains a large quantity of data that may not be thoroughly and accurately analyzed via simple visual inspection with the desired accuracy and speed. Hence, a computer-assisted pelvic trauma decision-making system is needed to assist physicians in making accurate diagnostic decisions and determining treatment planning in a short period of time. Pelvic bone segmentation is a vital step in analyzing pelvic CT images and assisting physicians with diagnostic decisions in traumatic pelvic injuries. In this study, a new hierarchical segmentation algorithm is proposed to automatically extract multiplelevel bone structures using a combination of anatomical knowledge and computational techniques. First, morphological operations, image enhancement, and edge detection are performed for preliminary bone segmentation. The proposed algorithm then uses a template-based best shape matching method that provides an entirely automated segmentation process. This is followed by the proposed Registered Active Shape Model (RASM) algorithm that extracts pelvic bone tissues using more robust training models than the Standard ASM algorithm. In addition, a novel hierarchical initialization process for RASM is proposed in order to address the shortcoming of the Standard ASM, i.e. high sensitivity to initialization. Two suitable measures are defined to evaluate the segmentation results: Mean Distance and Mis-segmented Area to quantify the segmentation accuracy. Successful segmentation results indicate effectiveness and robustness of the proposed algorithm. Comparison of segmentation performance is also conducted using both the proposed method and the Snake method. A cross-validation process is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the training models. 3D pelvic bone models are built after pelvic bone structures are segmented from consecutive 2D CT slices. Automatic and accurate detection of the fractures from segmented bones in traumatic pelvic injuries can help physicians detect the severity of injuries in patients. The extraction of fracture features (such as presence and location of fractures) as well as fracture displacement measurement, are vital for assisting physicians in making faster and more accurate decisions. In this project, after bone segmentation, fracture detection is performed using a hierarchical algorithm based on wavelet transformation, adaptive windowing, boundary tracing and masking. Also, a quantitative measure of fracture severity based on pelvic CT scans is defined and explored. The results are promising, demonstrating that the proposed method not only capable of automatically detecting both major and minor fractures, but also has potentials to be used for clinical applications.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

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Engineering Commons