Automated delineation of anatomical structures in chest radiographs is difficult due to superimposition of multiple structures. In this work an automated technique to segment the clavicles in posterior-anterior chest radiographs is presented in which three methods are combined. Pixel classification is applied in two stages and separately for the interior, the border and the head of the clavicle. This is used as input for active shape model segmentation. Finally dynamic programming is employed with an optimized cost function that combines appearance information of the interior of the clavicle, the border, the head and shape information derived from the active shape model. The method is compared with a number of previously described methods and with independent human observers on a large database. This database contains both normal and abnormal images and will be made publicly available. The mean contour distance of the proposed method on 249 test images is 1.1 +/- 1.6 mm and the intersection over union is 0.86 +/- 0.10.
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