Tubular shape aware data generation for segmentation in medical imaging

Ilyas Sirazitdinov, Heinrich Schulz, Axel Saalbach, Steffen Renisch, Dmitry V. Dylov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Chest X-ray is one of the most widespread examinations of the human body. In interventional radiology, its use is frequently associated with the need to visualize various tube-like objects, such as puncture needles, guiding sheaths, wires, and catheters. Detection and precise localization of these tube-like objects in the X-ray images are, therefore, of utmost value, catalyzing the development of accurate target-specific segmentation algorithms. Similar to the other medical imaging tasks, the manual pixel-wise annotation of the tubes is a resource-consuming process. Methods: In this work, we aim to alleviate the lack of annotated images by using artificial data. Specifically, we present an approach for synthetic generation of the tube-shaped objects, with a generative adversarial network being regularized with a prior-shape constraint. Namely, our model uses Frangi-based regularization to draw synthetic tubes in the predefined fake mask regions and, then, uses the adversarial component to preserve the global realistic appearance of the synthesized image. Results: Our method eliminates the need for the paired image–mask data and requires only a weakly labeled dataset, with fine-tuning on a small paired sample (10–20 images) proving sufficient to reach the accuracy of the fully supervised models. Conclusion: We report the applicability of the approach for the task of segmenting tubes and catheters in the X-ray images, whereas the results should also hold for the other acquisition modalities and image computing applications that contain tubular objects.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2022


    • Generative adversarial network
    • Neural network
    • Shape analysis
    • Weakly supervised segmentation
    • X-ray imaging


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