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In Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Segmentation is a complex task, faced by radiologists and researchers as radiomics and machine learning grow in potentiality. The process can either be automatic, semi-automatic, or manual, the first often not being sufficiently precise or easily reproducible, and the last being excessively time consuming when involving large districts with high-resolution acquisitions. A high-resolution CT of the chest is composed of hundreds of images, and this makes the manual approach excessively time consuming. Furthermore, the parenchymal alterations require an expert evaluation to be discerned from the normal appearance; thus, a semi-automatic approach to the segmentation process is, to the best of our knowledge, the most suitable when segmenting pneumonias, especially when their features are still unknown. For the studies conducted in our institute on the imaging of COVID-19, we adopted 3D Slicer, a freeware software produced by the Harvard University, and combined the threshold with the paint brush instruments to achieve fast and precise segmentation of aerated lung, ground glass opacities, and consolidations. When facing complex cases, this method still requires a considerable amount of time for proper manual adjustments, but provides an extremely efficient mean to define segments to use for further analysis, such as the calculation of the percentage of the affected lung parenchyma or texture analysis of the ground glass areas.

Cattabriga Arrigo, Cocozza Maria Adriana, Vara Giulio, Coppola Francesca, Golfieri Rita

2020-12-19