Variational image segmentation for endoscopic human colonic aberrant crypt foci

Isabel N. Figueiredo, Pedro N. Figueiredo, Georg Stadler, Omar Ghattas, Adérito Araujo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to introduce a variational image segmentation method for assessing the aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the human colon captured in vivo by endoscopy. ACF are thought to be precursors for colorectal cancer, and therefore their early detection may play an important clinical role. We enhance the active contours without edges model of Chan and Vese to account for the ACF's particular structure. We employ level sets to represent the segmentation boundaries and discretize in space by finite elements and in (artificial) time by finite differences. The approach is able to identify the ACF, their boundaries, and some of the internal crypts' orifices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5338023
Pages (from-to)998-1011
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Active contours
  • Endoscopic images
  • Image segmentation
  • Level sets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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