PNist: interactive volumetric measurements of plexiform neurofibromas in MRI scans

Lior Weizman*, Dina Helfer, Dafna Ben Bashat, Li tal Pratt, Leo Joskowicz, Shlomi Constantini, Ben Shofty, Liat Ben Sira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Volumetric measurements of plexiform neurofibromas (PNs) are time consuming and error prone, as they require the delineation of the PN boundaries, which is mostly impractical in the daily clinical setup. Accurate volumetric measurements are seldom performed for these tumors mainly due to their great dispersion, size and multiple locations. This paper presents a semiautomatic method for segmentation of PN from STIR MRI scans. Methods: Plexiform neurofibroma interactive segmentation tool (PNist) is a new tool to segment PNs in STIR MRI scans. The method is based on histogram tumor models computed from a training set. Results: Experimental results from 28 datasets show an average absolute volume difference of 6.8 % with an average user time of approximately 7 min versus more than 13 min with manual delineation. In complex cases, the PNist user time is less than half in compared to state-of-the-art tools. Conclusions: PNist is a new method for the semiautomatic segmentation of PN lesions. Its simplicity and reliability make it unique among other state-of-the-art methods. It has the potential to become a clinical tool that allows the reliable evaluation of PN burden and progression.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)683-693
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, CARS.


  • Neurofibromatosis-1
  • PNS tumors
  • Plexiform neurofibromas
  • Segmentation
  • Shwannoma


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