Methods for reliable femur segmentation enable the execution of quality retrospective studies and building of robust screening tools for bone and joint disease. An enhance-and-segment pipeline is proposed for proximal femur segmentation from computed tomography datasets. The filter is based on a scale-space model of cortical bone with properties including edge localization, invariance to density calibration, rotation invariance, and stability to noise. The filter is integrated with a graph cut segmentation technique guided through user provided sparse labels for rapid segmentation. Analysis is performed on 20 independent femurs. Rater proximal femur segmentation agreement was 0.21 mm (average surface distance), 0.98 (Dice similarity coefficient), and 2.34 mm (Hausdorff distance). Manual segmentation added considerable variability to measured failure load and volume (CV > 5%) but not density. The proposed algorithm considerably improved inter-rater reproducibility for all three outcomes (CV < 0.5%). The algorithm localized the periosteal surface accurately compared to manual segmentation but with a slight bias towards a smaller volume. Hessian-based filtering and graph cut segmentation localizes the periosteal surface of the proximal femur with comparable accuracy and improved precision compared to manual segmentation.
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