Background: Robust and accurate segmentation of the spine subdivided into individual
vertebrae is necessary for subsequent diagnosis of illnesses related to the spine, particularly those
requiring detection and classification of bone lesions. Based on correct vertebra segmentation, the
current status of a disease under treatment - as well as its progress - can be determined and followed.
Discussion: The problem is complicated by frequent heavy deformations of both the spine axis and
individual vertebrae due to illness, so that some vertebrae may differ substantially from expected
shapes or even be missing. This overview summarises and discusses so far published methods for
spine and vertebrae segmentation in 3D CT thoracic data.
Conclusion: It suggests a classification of these algorithms based on the used approaches, complexity
of algorithms, as well as on achieved efficiencies.