A Medical Software System for Volumetric Analysis of Cerebral Pathologies in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Data
ABSTRACT In this contribution, a medical software system for volumetric analysis of different cerebral pathologies in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data is presented. The software system is based on a semi-automatic segmentation algorithm and helps to overcome the time-consuming process of volume determination during monitoring of a patient. After imaging, the parameter settings-including a seed point-are set up in the system and an automatic segmentation is performed by a novel graph-based approach. Manually reviewing the result leads to reseeding, adding seed points or an automatic surface mesh generation. The mesh is saved for monitoring the patient and for comparisons with follow-up scans. Based on the mesh, the system performs a voxelization and volume calculation, which leads to diagnosis and therefore further treatment decisions. The overall system has been tested with different cerebral pathologies-glioblastoma multiforme, pituitary adenomas and cerebral aneurysms- and evaluated against manual expert segmentations using the Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC). Additionally, intra-physician segmentations have been performed to provide a quality measure for the presented system.
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ABSTRACT: The basic principle of graph-based approaches for image segmentation is to interpret an image as a graph, where the nodes of the graph represent 2D pixels or 3D voxels of the image. The weighted edges of the graph are obtained by intensity differences in the image. Once the graph is constructed, the minimal cost closed set on the graph can be computed via a polynomial time s-t cut, dividing the graph into two parts: the object and the background. However, no segmentation method provides perfect results, so additional manual editing is required, especially in the sensitive field of medical image processing. In this study, we present a manual refinement method that takes advantage of the basic design of graph-based image segmentation algorithms. Our approach restricts a graph-cut by using additional user-defined seed points to set up fixed nodes in the graph. The advantage is that manual edits can be integrated intuitively and quickly into the segmentation result of a graph-based approach. The method can be applied to both 2D and 3D objects that have to be segmented. Experimental results for synthetic and real images are presented to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach.Journal of Medical Systems 08/2011; 36(5):2829-39. DOI:10.1007/s10916-011-9761-7 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present a rectangle-based segmentation algorithm that sets up a graph and performs a graph cut to separate an object from the background. However, graph-based algorithms distribute the graph's nodes uniformly and equidistantly on the image. Then, a smoothness term is added to force the cut to prefer a particular shape. This strategy does not allow the cut to prefer a certain structure, especially when areas of the object are indistinguishable from the background. We solve this problem by referring to a rectangle shape of the object when sampling the graph nodes, i.e., the nodes are distributed non-uniformly and non-equidistantly on the image. This strategy can be useful, when areas of the object are indistinguishable from the background. For evaluation, we focus on vertebrae images from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) datasets to support the time consuming manual slice-by-slice segmentation performed by physicians. The ground truth of the vertebrae boundaries were manually extracted by two clinical experts (neurological surgeons) with several years of experience in spine surgery and afterwards compared with the automatic segmentation results of the proposed scheme yielding an average Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) of 90.97±2.2%.PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e31064. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0031064 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present a scale-invariant, template-based segmentation paradigm that sets up a graph and performs a graph cut to separate an object from the background. Typically graph-based schemes distribute the nodes of the graph uniformly and equidistantly on the image, and use a regularizer to bias the cut towards a particular shape. The strategy of uniform and equidistant nodes does not allow the cut to prefer more complex structures, especially when areas of the object are indistinguishable from the background. We propose a solution by introducing the concept of a "template shape" of the target object in which the nodes are sampled non-uniformly and non-equidistantly on the image. We evaluate it on 2D-images where the object's textures and backgrounds are similar, and large areas of the object have the same gray level appearance as the background. We also evaluate it in 3D on 60 brain tumor datasets for neurosurgical planning purposes.Scientific Reports 05/2012; 2:420. DOI:10.1038/srep00420 · 5.58 Impact Factor