Computer-aided diagnosis of liver tumors on computed tomography images

Chin Chen Chang, Hong Hao Chen, Yeun Chung Chang, Ming Yang Yang, Chung Ming Lo, Wei Chun Ko, Yee Fan Lee, Kao Lang Liu, Ruey Feng Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective Liver cancer is the tenth most common cancer in the USA, and its incidence has been increasing for several decades. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease are very important. Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most common and robust imaging techniques for the detection of liver cancer. CT scanners can provide multiple-phase sequential scans of the whole liver. In this study, we proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system to diagnose liver cancer using the features of tumors obtained from multiphase CT images. Methods A total of 71 histologically-proven liver tumors including 49 benign and 22 malignant lesions were evaluated with the proposed CAD system to evaluate its performance. Tumors were identified by the user and then segmented using a region growing algorithm. After tumor segmentation, three kinds of features were obtained for each tumor, including texture, shape, and kinetic curve. The texture was quantified using 3 dimensional (3-D) texture data of the tumor based on the grey level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). Compactness, margin, and an elliptic model were used to describe the 3-D shape of the tumor. The kinetic curve was established from each phase of tumor and represented as variations in density between each phase. Backward elimination was used to select the best combination of features, and binary logistic regression analysis was used to classify the tumors with leave-one-out cross validation. Results The accuracy and sensitivity for the texture were 71.82% and 68.18%, respectively, which were better than for the shape and kinetic curve under closed specificity. Combining all of the features achieved the highest accuracy (58/71, 81.69%), sensitivity (18/22, 81.82%), and specificity (40/49, 81.63%). The Az value of combining all features was 0.8713. Conclusions Combining texture, shape, and kinetic curve features may be able to differentiate benign from malignant tumors in the liver using our proposed CAD system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Computed tomography
  • Diagnosis
  • Elliptic model
  • Grey level co-occurrence matrix
  • Kinetic curve
  • Liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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