A supervoxel-based segmentation method for prostate MR images:

Zhiqiang Tian, Lizhi Liu, Zhenfeng Zhang, Jianru Xue, Baowei Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: Segmentation of the prostate on MR images has many applications in prostate cancer management. In this work, we propose a supervoxel-based segmentation method for prostate MR images. Methods: A supervoxel is a set of pixels that have similar intensities, locations, and textures in a 3D image volume. The prostate segmentation problem is considered as assigning a binary label to each supervoxel, which is either the prostate or background. A supervoxel-based energy function with data and smoothness terms is used to model the label. The data term estimates the likelihood of a supervoxel belonging to the prostate by using a supervoxel-based shape feature. The geometric relationship between two neighboring supervoxels is used to build the smoothness term. The 3D graph cut is used to minimize the energy function to get the labels of the supervoxels, which yields the prostate segmentation. A 3D active contour model is then used to get a smooth surface by using the output of the graph cut as an initialization. The performance of the proposed algorithm was evaluated on 30 in-house MR image data and PROMISE12 dataset. Results: The mean Dice similarity coefficients are 87.2 ± 2.3% and 88.2 ± 2.8% for our 30 in-house MR volumes and the PROMISE12 dataset, respectively. The proposed segmentation method yields a satisfactory result for prostate MR images. Conclusion: The proposed supervoxel-based method can accurately segment prostate MR images and can have a variety of application in prostate cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-569
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • magnetic resonance image
  • prostate
  • segmentation
  • supervoxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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