Accurate segmentation of prostate and its zones constitute an essential preprocessing step for computer-aided diagnosis and detection system for prostate cancer (PCa) using diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). However, low signal-to-noise ratio and high variability of prostate anatomic structures are challenging for its segmentation using DWI. We propose a semi-automated framework that segments the prostate gland and its zones simultaneously using DWI.
In this paper, the Chan-Vese active contour model along with morphological opening operation was used for segmentation of prostate gland. Then segmentation of prostate zones into peripheral zone (PZ) and transition zone (TZ) was carried out using in-house developed probabilistic atlas with partial volume (PV) correction algorithm. The study cohort included MRI dataset of 18 patients (n = 18) as our dataset and methodology were also independently evaluated using 15 MRI scans (n = 15) of QIN-PROSTATE-Repeatability dataset. The atlas for zones of prostate gland was constructed using dataset of twelve patients of our patient cohort. Three-fold cross-validation was performed with 10 repetitions, thus total 30 instances of training and testing were performed on our dataset followed by independent testing on the QIN-PROSTATE-Repeatability dataset. Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), Jaccard coefficient (JC), and accuracy were used for quantitative assessment of the segmentation results with respect to boundaries delineated manually by an expert radiologist. A paired t-test was performed to evaluate the improvement in zonal segmentation performance with the proposed PV correction algorithm.
For our dataset, the proposed segmentation methodology produced improved segmentation with DSC of 90.76 ± 3.68%, JC of 83.00 ± 5.78%, and accuracy of 99.42 ± 0.36% for the prostate gland, DSC of 77.73 ± 2.76%, JC of 64.46 ± 3.43%, and accuracy of 82.47 ± 2.22% for the PZ, and DSC of 86.05 ± 1.50%, JC of 75.80 ± 2.10%, and accuracy of 91.67 ± 1.56% for the TZ. The segmentation performance for QIN-PROSTATE-Repeatability dataset was, DSC of 85.50 ± 4.43%, JC of 75.00 ± 6.34%, and accuracy of 81.52 ± 5.55% for prostate gland, DSC of 74.40 ± 1.79%, JC of 59.53 ± 8.70%, and accuracy of 80.91 ± 5.16% for PZ, and DSC of 85.80 ± 5.55%, JC of 74.87 ± 7.90%, and accuracy of 90.59 ± 3.74% for TZ. With the implementation of the PV correction algorithm, statistically significant (p<0.05) improvements were observed in all the metrics (DSC, JC, and accuracy) for both prostate zones, PZ and TZ segmentation.
The proposed segmentation methodology is stable, accurate, and easy to implement for segmentation of prostate gland and its zones (PZ and TZ). The atlas-based segmentation framework with PV correction algorithm can be incorporated into a computer-aided diagnostic system for PCa localization and treatment planning.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.