Franjo Pernus

University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Publications (126)112.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we propose a novel approach to landmark-based shape representation that is based on transportation theory, where landmarks are considered as sources and destinations, all possible landmark connections as roads, and established landmark connections as goods transported via these roads. Landmark connections, which are selectively established, are identified through their statistical properties describing the shape of the object of interest, and indicate the least costly roads for transporting goods from sources to destinations. From such a perspective, we introduce three novel shape representations that are combined with an existing landmark detection algorithm based on game theory. To reduce computational complexity, which results from the extension from 2-D to 3-D segmentation, landmark detection is augmented by a concept known in game theory as strategy dominance. The novel shape representations, game-theoretic landmark detection and strategy dominance are combined into a segmentation framework that was evaluated on 3-D computed tomography images of lumbar vertebrae and femoral heads. The best shape representation yielded symmetric surface distance of 0.75 mm and 1.11 mm, and Dice coefficient of 93.6% and 96.2% for lumbar vertebrae and femoral heads, respectively. By applying strategy dominance, the computational costs were further reduced for up to three times.
    IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 01/2014; 33(4):861-874. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endovascular image-guided interventions (EIGI) involve navigation of a catheter through the vasculature followed by application of treatment at the site of anomaly using live 2D projection images for guidance. 3D images acquired prior to EIGI are used to quantify the vascular anomaly and plan the intervention. If fused with the information of live 2D images they can also facilitate navigation and treatment. For this purpose 3D- 2D image registration is required. Although several 3D-2D registration methods for EIGI achieve registration accuracy below 1 mm, their clinical application is still limited by insufficient robustness or reliability. In this paper, we propose a 3D-2D registration method based on matching a 3D vasculature model to intensity gradients of live 2D images. To objectively validate 3D-2D registration methods, we acquired a clinical image database of ten patients undergoing cerebral EIGI and established ¿gold standard¿ registrations by aligning fiducial markers in 3D and 2D images. The proposed method had mean registration accuracy below 0.65 mm, which was comparable to tested state-of-the-art methods, and execution time below 1 second. With the highest rate of successful registrations and the highest capture range the proposed method was the most robust and thus a good candidate for application in EIGI.
    IEEE transactions on medical imaging. 04/2013;
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    Z Spiclin, B Likar, Franjo Pernus
    LNCS; 07/2012
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    ABSTRACT: A novel game-theoretic framework for landmark-based image segmentation is presented. Landmark detection is formulated as a game, in which landmarks are players, landmark candidate points are strategies, and likelihoods that candidate points represent landmarks are payoffs, determined according to the similarity of image intensities and spatial relationships between the candidate points in the target image and their corresponding landmarks in images from the training set. The solution of the formulated game-theoretic problem is the equilibrium of candidate points that represent landmarks in the target image and is obtained by a novel iterative scheme that solves the segmentation problem in polynomial time. The object boundaries are finally extracted by applying dynamic programming to the optimal path searching problem between the obtained adjacent landmarks. The performance of the proposed framework was evaluated for segmentation of lung fields from chest radiographs and heart ventricles from cardiac magnetic resonance cross sections. The comparison to other landmark-based segmentation techniques shows that the results obtained by the proposed game-theoretic framework are highly accurate and precise in terms of mean boundary distance and area overlap. Moreover, the framework overcomes several shortcomings of the existing techniques, such as sensitivity to initialization and convergence to local optima.
    IEEE transactions on medical imaging. 06/2012; 31(9):1761-1776.
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    Ziga Spiclin, Bostjan Likar, Franjo Pernus
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    ABSTRACT: Groupwise registration is concerned with bringing a group of images into the best spatial alignment. If images in the group are from different modalities, then the intensity correspondences across the images can be modeled by the joint density function (JDF) of the cooccurring image intensities. We propose a so-called treecode registration method for groupwise alignment of multimodal images that uses a hierarchical intensity-space subdivision scheme through which an efficient yet sufficiently accurate estimation of the (high-dimensional) JDF based on the Parzen kernel method is computed. To simultaneously align a group of images, a gradient-based joint entropy minimization was employed that also uses the same hierarchical intensity-space subdivision scheme. If the Hilbert kernel is used for the JDF estimation, then the treecode method requires no data-dependent bandwidth selection and is thus fully automatic. The treecode method was compared with the ensemble clustering (EC) method on four different publicly available multimodal image data sets and on a synthetic monomodal image data set. The obtained results indicate that the treecode method has similar and, for two data sets, even superior performances compared to the EC method in terms of registration error and success rate. The obtained good registration performances can be mostly attributed to the sufficiently accurate estimation of the JDF, which is computed through the hierarchical intensity-space subdivision scheme, that captures all the important features needed to detect the correct intensity correspondences across a multimodal group of images undergoing registration.
    IEEE Transactions on Image Processing 01/2012; 21(5):2546-58. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new gold standard data set for validation of 2D/3D registration based on a porcine cadaver head with attached fiducial markers was presented in the first part of this article. The advantage of this new phantom is the large amount of soft tissue, which simulates realistic conditions for registration. This article tests the performance of intensity- and gradient-based algorithms for 2D/3D registration using the new phantom data set. Intensity-based methods with four merit functions, namely, cross correlation, rank correlation, correlation ratio, and mutual information (MI), and two gradient-based algorithms, the backprojection gradient-based (BGB) registration method and the reconstruction gradient-based (RGB) registration method, were compared. Four volumes consisting of CBCT with two fields of view, 64 slice multidetector CT, and magnetic resonance-T1 weighted images were registered to a pair of kV x-ray images and a pair of MV images. A standardized evaluation methodology was employed. Targets were evenly spread over the volumes and 250 starting positions of the 3D volumes with initial displacements of up to 25 mm from the gold standard position were calculated. After the registration, the displacement from the gold standard was retrieved and the root mean square (RMS), mean, and standard deviation mean target registration errors (mTREs) over 250 registrations were derived. Additionally, the following merit properties were computed: Accuracy, capture range, number of minima, risk of nonconvergence, and distinctiveness of optimum for better comparison of the robustness of each merit. Among the merit functions used for the intensity-based method, MI reached the best accuracy with an RMS mTRE down to 1.30 mm. Furthermore, it was the only merit function that could accurately register the CT to the kV x rays with the presence of tissue deformation. As for the gradient-based methods, BGB and RGB methods achieved subvoxel accuracy (RMS mTRE down to 0.56 and 0.70 mm, respectively). Overall, gradient-based similarity measures were found to be substantially more accurate than intensity-based methods and could cope with soft tissue deformation and enabled also accurate registrations of the MR-T1 volume to the kV x-ray image. In this article, the authors demonstrate the usefulness of a new phantom image data set for the evaluation of 2D/3D registration methods, which featured soft tissue deformation. The author's evaluation shows that gradient-based methods are more accurate than intensity-based methods, especially when soft tissue deformation is present. However, the current nonoptimized implementations make them prohibitively slow for practical applications. On the other hand, the speed of the intensity-based method renders these more suitable for clinical use, while the accuracy is still competitive.
    Medical Physics 03/2011; 38(3):1491-502. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite major improvements in dental healthcare and technology, dental caries remains one of the most prevalent chronic diseases of modern society. The initial stages of dental caries are characterized by demineralization of enamel crystals, commonly known as white spots which are difficult to diagnose. If detected early enough, such demineralization can be arrested and reversed by non-surgical means through well established dental treatments (fluoride therapy, anti-bacterial therapy, low intensity laser irradiation). Near-infrared (NIR) hyper-spectral imaging is a new promising technique for early detection of demineralization based on distinct spectral features of healthy and pathological dental tissues. In this study, we apply NIR hyper-spectral imaging to classify and visualize healthy and pathological dental tissues including enamel, dentin, calculus, dentin caries, enamel caries and demineralized areas. For this purpose, a standardized teeth database was constructed consisting of 12 extracted human teeth with different degrees of natural dental lesions imaged by NIR hyper-spectral system, X-ray and digital color camera. The color and X-ray images of teeth were presented to a clinical expert for localization and classification of the dental tissues, thereby obtaining the gold standard. Principal component analysis was used for multivariate local modeling of healthy and pathological dental tissues. Finally, the dental tissues were classified by employing multiple discriminant analysis. High agreement was observed between the resulting classification and the gold standard with the classification sensitivity and specificity exceeding 85 % and 97 %, respectively. This study demonstrates that NIR hyper-spectral imaging has considerable diagnostic potential for imaging hard dental tissues.
    Proc SPIE 03/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, the authors propose a new gold standard data set for the validation of two-dimensional/three-dimensional (2D/3D) and 3D/3D image registration algorithms. A gold standard data set was produced using a fresh cadaver pig head with attached fiducial markers. The authors used several imaging modalities common in diagnostic imaging or radiotherapy, which include 64-slice computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging using T1, T2, and proton density sequences, and cone beam CT imaging data. Radiographic data were acquired using kilovoltage and megavoltage imaging techniques. The image information reflects both anatomy and reliable fiducial marker information and improves over existing data sets by the level of anatomical detail, image data quality, and soft-tissue content. The markers on the 3D and 2D image data were segmented using ANALYZE 10.0 (AnalyzeDirect, Inc., Kansas City, KN) and an in-house software. The projection distance errors and the expected target registration errors over all the image data sets were found to be less than 2.71 and 1.88 mm, respectively. The gold standard data set, obtained with state-of-the-art imaging technology, has the potential to improve the validation of 2D/3D and 3D/3D registration algorithms for image guided therapy.
    Medical Physics 03/2011; 38(3):1481-90. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The evaluation of vertebral deformations is of great importance in clinical diagnostics and therapy of pathological conditions affecting the spine. Although modern clinical practice is oriented towards the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques, as they can provide a detailed D representation of vertebrae, the established methods for the evaluation of vertebral deformations still provide only a two-dimensional (2D) geometrical description. Segmentation of vertebrae in 3D may therefore not only improve their visualization, but also provide reliable and accurate 3D measurements of vertebral deformations. In this paper we propose a method for D segmentation of individual vertebral bodies that can be performed in CT and MR images. Initialized with a single point inside the vertebral body, the segmentation is performed by optimizing the parameters of a 3D deterministic model of the vertebral body to achieve the best match of the model to the vertebral body in the image. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated on five CT (40 vertebrae) and five T2-weighted MR (40 vertebrae) spine images, among them five are normal and five are pathological. The results show that the proposed method can be used for D segmentation of vertebral bodies in CT and MR images and that the proposed model can describe a variety of vertebral body shapes. The method may be therefore used for initializing whole vertebra segmentation or reliably describing vertebral body deformations.
    Proc SPIE 03/2011;
  • Bulat Ibragimov, Bostjan Likar, Franjo Pernus
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    ABSTRACT: Medical image segmentation is typically used to locate boundaries of anatomical structures in images acquired by different modalities. As segmentation is of utmost importance for quantitative measurements and analysis of anatomical structures, tracking anatomical changes over time, building anatomical atlases and visualization of medical images, a huge amount of methods have been developed and tested on a wide range of applications in the past. Deformable or parametric shape models are a class of methods that have been widely used for segmentation. A drawback of deformable model approaches it that they require initialization near the final solution. In this paper, we present a segmentation algorithm that incorporates prior knowledge and is composed of two steps. First, reference points on the boundary of an anatomical structure are found by linear programming incorporating prior knowledge. Second, paths between reference points, representing boundary segments, are searched for by optimal control. The segmentation method has been applied to chest radiographs from the publicly available SCR database.
    Proc SPIE 03/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Construction of a standardized near infrared (NIR) hyper-spectral teeth database is a first step in the development of a reliable diagnostic tool for quantification and early detection of dental diseases. The standardized diffuse reflectance hyper-spectral database was constructed by imaging 12 extracted human teeth with natural lesions of various degrees in the spectral range from 900 to 1700 nm with spectral resolution of 10 nm. Additionally, all the teeth were imaged by X-ray and digital color camera. The color and X-ray teeth images were presented to the expert for localization and classification of the dental diseases, thereby obtaining a dental disease gold standard. Accurate transfer of the dental disease gold standard to the NIR images was achieved by image registration in a groupwise manner, taking advantage of the multichannel image information and promoting image edges as the features for the improvement of spatial correspondence detection. By the presented fully automatic multi-modal groupwise registration method, images of new teeth samples can be accurately and reliably registered and then added to the standardized NIR hyper-spectral teeth database. Adding more samples increases the biological and patho-physiological variability of the NIR hyper-spectral teeth database and can importantly contribute to the objective assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of multivariate image analysis techniques used for the detection of dental diseases. Such assessment is essential for the development and validation of reliable qualitative and especially quantitative diagnostic tools based on NIR spectroscopy.
    Proc SPIE 03/2011;
  • Tomaz Vrtovec, Franjo Pernus, Bostjan Likar
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    ABSTRACT: The vertebral pose in three dimensions (3D) may provide valuable information for quantitative clinical measurements or aid the initialization of image analysis techniques. We propose a method for automated determination of the vertebral pose in 3D that, in an iterative registration scheme, estimates the position and rotation of the vertebral coordinate system in 3D images. By searching for the hypothetical points, which are located where the boundaries of anatomical structures would have maximal symmetrical correspondences when mirrored over the vertebral planes, the asymmetry of vertebral anatomical structures is minimized. The method was evaluated on 14 normal and 14 scoliotic vertebrae in images acquired by computed tomography (CT). For each vertebra, 1000 randomly initialized experiments were performed. The results show that the vertebral pose can be successfully determined in 3D with mean accuracy of 0.5mm and 0.6° and mean precision of 0.17mm and 0.17. according to the 3D position and 3D rotation, respectively.
    Proc SPIE 03/2011;
  • Jaka Katrasnik, Franjo Pernus, Bostjan Likar
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    ABSTRACT: Near-infrared hyperspectral imaging is becoming a popular tool in the biomedical field, especially for detection and analysis of different types of cancers, analysis of skin burns and bruises, imaging of blood vessels and for many other applications. As in all imaging systems, proper illumination is crucial to attain optimal image quality that is needed for best performance of image analysis algorithms. In hyperspectral imaging based on filters (AOTF, LCTF and filter wheel) the acquired spectral signature has to be representative in all parts of the imaged object. Therefore, the whole object must be equally well illuminated - without shadows and specular reflections. As there are no restrictions imposed on the material and geometry of the object, the desired object illumination can only be achieved with completely diffuse illumination. In order to minimize shadows and specular reflections in diffuse illumination the light illuminating the object must be spatially, angularly and spectrally uniform. We present and test two diffuse illumination system designs that try to achieve optimal uniformity of the above mentioned properties. The illumination uniformity properties were measured with an AOTF based hyperspectral imaging system utilizing a standard white diffuse reflectance target and a specially designed calibration target for estimating the spatial and angular illumination uniformity.
    Proc SPIE 02/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Dental caries is a disease characterized by demineralization of enamel crystals leading to the penetration of bacteria into the dentin and pulp. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain, infection and tooth loss. Early detection of enamel demineralization resulting in increased enamel porosity, commonly known as white spots, is a difficult diagnostic task. Several papers reported on near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to be a potentially useful noninvasive spectroscopic technique for early detection of caries lesions. However, the conducted studies were mostly qualitative and did not include the critical assessment of the spectral variability of the sound and carious dental tissues and influence of the water content. Such assessment is essential for development and validation of reliable qualitative and especially quantitative diagnostic tools based on NIR spectroscopy. In order to characterize the described spectral variability, a standardized diffuse reflectance hyper-spectral database was constructed by imaging 12 extracted human teeth with natural lesions of various degrees in the spectral range from 900 to 1700 nm with spectral resolution of 10 nm. Additionally, all the teeth were imaged by digital color camera. The influence of water content on the acquired spectra was characterized by monitoring the teeth during the drying process. The images were assessed by an expert, thereby obtaining the gold standard. By analyzing the acquired spectra we were able to accurately model the spectral variability of the sound dental tissues and identify the advantages and limitations of NIR hyper-spectral imaging.
    Proc SPIE 02/2011;
  • Med. Biol. Engineering and Computing. 01/2011; 49:957-966.
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    Mach. Vis. Appl. 01/2011; 22:197-206.
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    ABSTRACT: A systemic approach to development of process analytical technology (PAT) tools for monitoring the critical quality and performance attributes of the manufacturing process is of great importance in ensuring final product quality in the pharmaceutical industry. The aim of this study was to examine the possibilities for a visual inspection technique as a PAT tool for in-process and on-line monitoring of the coating process of pharmaceutical pellets. The in-process conditions of the Wurster coating system were studied and an experimental visual imaging system that mimics these conditions was set up. Image analysis methods were developed that allow the determination of pellets' coating thickness estimation from the images acquired during the coating process. The results of the proposed visual imaging method were evaluated through comparison with a reference method and a good agreement of the coating thickness estimations by the two methods was found.
    01/2011;
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    Ziga Spiclin, Bostjan Likar, Franjo Pernus
    Multimodal Brain Image Analysis, First International Workshop, MBIA 2011, Held in Conjunction with MICCAI 2011, Toronto, Canada, September 18, 2011. Proceedings; 01/2011
  • Ziga Spiclin, Franjo Pernus, Bostjan Likar
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    ABSTRACT: In hyper-spectral imaging systems with a wide spectral range, axial optical aberrations may lead to a significant blurring of image intensities in certain parts of the spectral range. Axial optical aberrations arise from the indexof- refraction variations that is dependent on the wavelength of incident light. To correct axial optical aberrations the point-spread function (PSF) of the image acquisition system needs to be identified. We proposed a multiframe joint blur identification and image restoration method that maximizes the likelihood of local image energy distributions between spectral images. Gaussian mixture model based density estimate provides a link between corresponding spatial information shared among spectral images so as to find and restore the image edges via a PSF update. Model of the PSF was assumed to be a linear combination of Gaussian functions, therefore the blur identification process had to find only the corresponding scalar weights of each Gaussian function. Using the identified PSF, image restoration was performed by the iterative Richardson-Lucy algorithm. Experiments were conducted on four different biological samples using a hyper-spectral imaging system based on acousto-optic tunable filter in the visible spectral range (0.55 - 1.0 mum). By running the proposed method, the quality of raw spectral images was substantially improved. Image quality improvements were quantified by a measure of contrast and demonstrate the potential of the proposed method for the correction of axial optical aberrations.
    01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: A growing number of clinical applications using 2D/3D registration have been presented recently. Usually, a digitally reconstructed radiograph is compared iteratively to an x-ray image of the known projection geometry until a match is achieved, thus providing six degrees of freedom of rigid motion which can be used for patient setup in image-guided radiation therapy or computer-assisted interventions. Recently, stochastic rank correlation, a merit function based on Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, was presented as a merit function especially suitable for 2D/3D registration. The advantage of this measure is its robustness against variations in image histogram content and its wide convergence range. The considerable computational expense of computing an ordered rank list is avoided here by comparing randomly chosen subsets of the DRR and reference x-ray. In this work, we show that it is possible to omit the sorting step and to compute the rank correlation coefficient of the full image content as fast as conventional merit functions. Our evaluation of a well-calibrated cadaver phantom also confirms that rank correlation-type merit functions give the most accurate results if large differences in the histogram content for the DRR and the x-ray image are present.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 10/2010; 55(19):N465-71. · 2.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
112.87 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1991–2012
    • University of Ljubljana
      • • Laboratory of Imaging Technologies
      • • Faculty of Electrical Engineering
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2010–2011
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
      Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2001
    • University Medical Center Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands