Date of Award

Summer 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Frederic D. McKenzie

Committee Member

K. Vijayan Asari

Committee Member

R. James Swanson

Committee Member

Stephen A. Zahorian


Currently there are few parameters that are used to compare the efficiency of different methods of cancerous prostate surgical removal. An accurate assessment of the percentage and depth of extra-capsular soft tissue removed with the prostate by the various surgical techniques can help surgeons determine the appropriateness of surgical approaches. Additionally, an objective assessment can allow a particular surgeon to compare individual performance against a standard. In order to facilitate 3D reconstruction and objective analysis and thus provide more accurate quantitation results when analyzing specimens, it is essential to automatically identify the capsule line that separates the prostate gland tissue from its extra-capsular tissue. However the prostate capsule is sometimes unrecognizable due to the naturally occurring intrusion of muscle and connective tissue into the prostate gland. At these regions where the capsule disappears, its contour can be arbitrarily reconstructed by drawing a continuing contour line based on the natural shape of the prostate gland. Presented here is a mathematical model that can be used in deciding the missing part of the capsule. This model approximates the missing parts of the capsule where it disappears to a standard shape by using a Generalized Hough Transform (GHT) approach to detect the prostate capsule. We also present an algorithm based on a least squares curve fitting technique that uses a prostate shape equation to merge previously detected capsule parts with the curve equation to produce an approximated curve that represents the prostate capsule. We have tested our algorithms using three shapes on 13 prostate slices that are cut at different locations from the apex and the results are promising


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