Wavelet method for CT colonography computer-aided polyp detection

Jiang Li, Robert Van Uitert, Jianhua Yao, Nicholas Petrick, Marek Franaszek, Adam Huang, Ronald M. Summers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Computed tomographic colonography (CTC) computer aided detection (CAD) is a new method to detect colon polyps. Colonic polyps are abnormal growths that may become cancerous. Detection and removal of colonic polyps, particularly larger ones, has been shown to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer. While high sensitivities and low false positive rates are consistently achieved for the detection of polyps sized 1 cm or larger, lower sensitivities and higher false positive rates occur when the goal of CAD is to identify "medium"- sized polyps, 6-9 mm in diameter. Such medium-sized polyps may be important for clinical patient management. We have developed a wavelet-based postprocessor to reduce false positives for this polyp size range. We applied the wavelet-based postprocessor to CTC CAD findings from 44 patients in whom 45 polyps with sizes of 6-9 mm were found at segmentally unblinded optical colonoscopy and visible on retrospective review of the CT colonography images. Prior to the application of the wavelet-based postprocessor, the CTC CAD system detected 33 of the polyps (sensitivity 73.33%) with 12.4 false positives per patient, a sensitivity comparable to that of expert radiologists. Fourfold cross validation with 5000 bootstraps showed that the wavelet-based postprocessor could reduce the false positives by 56.61% (p<0.001), to 5.38 per patient (95% confidence interval [4.41, 6.34]), without significant sensitivity degradation (3245, 71.11%, 95% confidence interval [66.39%, 75.74%], p=0.1713). We conclude that this wavelet-based postprocessor can substantially reduce the false positive rate of our CTC CAD for this important polyp size range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3527-3538
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008


  • CAD
  • CT colonography
  • False positive reduction
  • SVM committee
  • Wavelet


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