Key factors for successful treatment of lung diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are early diagnosis, accurate progress monitoring, and optimal, patient-specific selection and execution of treatment options. CT and MRI imaging can be valuable for each of these tasks, but thorough analysis of images remains challenging for human observers.
Fraunhofer MEVIS develops software solutions for automated CT and MRI lung image analysis to detect and monitor diseases and plan interventions. Algorithms for automatic segmentation and quantitative analysis of anatomical structures provide radiologists and pulmonologists with valuable data. Accurate lung image registration allows optimized workflow, for example, when integrating prior scans or multiple scans of different inspiration levels. By combining efficiency and accuracy, these solutions help provide the highest standards of healthcare to a broad range of patients.
Fraunhofer MEVIS closely collaborates with the Diagnostic Image Analysis Group (DIAG) in Nijmegen. The collaboration in lung image analysis focuses on developing software solutions to diagnose and treat COPD and to diagnose lung cancer.
Solutions & Features
- Automated Lung CT Segmentation Algorithms [1-8]
Fraunhofer MEVIS and DIAG have developed fast, automated segmentation and labeling methods for lungs [1, 2], lobes [3, 4, 5], fissures , bronchial tree, and pulmonary nodules . Segmentation performance (LOLA’11 Challenge) [8, 1]:
- High Accuracy: Ranked 1st for both lung and lung lobe segmentation
- High Speed: Less than 1 minute for the lungs and 10 minutes for the lung lobes
- Fast & Accurate Lung CT Registration Methods [9-12]
Fraunhofer MEVIS has developed a deformable lung registration method capable of registering lung CT scans with sub-millimeter accuracy at a runtime of only 25 seconds [9, 10]. It is therefore suitable for fast and reliable matching of various lung features across different scans in the clinical routine. Registration performance (EMPIRE’10 Challenge) [11, 12]:
- High Accuracy: Ranked 5th out of 36
- Unmatched speed: Less than 30 seconds for inspiration-expiration registration
- MR-based Quantitative Lung analysis 
Using automated lung segmentation , the PulmoMR software allows regional blood perfusion and ventilation analysis in dynamic MR images.
- COPD CT Analysis [14, 15]
For diagnosis, treatment planning, and monitoring in COPD patients, regional emphysema and fissure integrity quantification can be correlated with subvoxel- accurate measurements of airway geometry.
- Lung Surgery Risk Analysis and Planning [16-18]
Key features are interactive 3D exploration of the surgery situs and quantitative analysis for risk assessment in planning pneumectomies, lobectomies, and segmentectomies [16, 17, 18] as well as lung volume reduction therapy for COPD treatment.
- High-Throughput Screening using CIRRUS Lung 
DIAG and Fraunhofer MEVIS joined forces to develop a new, dedicated chest-reading workstation, including optimized algorithms and workflow support to enable high-throughput reading in screening scenarios.
- Best in Class Lung CT Segmentation: Lungs, Lobes, Nodules
- Fastest Accurate Lung CT Registration Available
- PulmoMR: Software for MR-based Quantitative Lung Analysis
- Quantitative COPD Analysis Including Highly Accurate Airway Wall Measurements
- Lung Surgery Risk Analysis and Planning
- CIRRUS Lung: Efficient Workflows for High- Throughput Screening
 Lassen B et al. Fourth International Workshop on Pulmonary Image Analysis 2011
 van Rikxoort EM et al. Med Phys 2009
 Lassen B et al. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2013
 Lassen B et al. SPIE Medical Imaging 2011
 van Rikxoort EM et al. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2010
 van Rikxoort EM et al. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2008
 Kuhnigk JM et al. IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2006
 LOLA‘11 Challenge
 Rühaak J et al. SPIE Medical Imaging 2013
 König L et al. IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging 2014
 EMPIRE‘10 Challenge
 Rühaak J et al. EMPIRE’10 Challenge 2010
 Kohlmann P et al. Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg 2014
 Kuhnigk JM et al. Radiographics 2005
 Mets OM et al. Respir Res 2013
 Stoecker C et al. Med Phys 2013
 Welter S et al. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2012
 Limmer S et al. Chirurg 2010