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Finding Seeds for Segmentation Using Statistical Fusion

Posted by on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 in Multi-atlas Segmentation, Neuroimaging.

Fangxu Xing, Andrew J. Asman, Jerry L. Prince, Bennett A. Landman. “Finding Seeds for Segmentation Using Statistical Fusion.” In Proceedings of the SPIE Medical Imaging Conference. San Diego, California, February 2012

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Image labeling is an essential step for quantitative analysis of medical images. Many image labeling algorithms require seed identification in order to initialize segmentation algorithms such as region growing, graph cuts, and the random walker. Seeds are usually placed manually by human raters, which makes these algorithms semi-automatic and can be prohibitive for very large datasets. In this paper an automatic algorithm for placing seeds using multi-atlas registration and statistical fusion is proposed. Atlases containing the centers of mass of a collection of neuroanatomical objects are deformably registered in a training set to determine where these centers of mass go after labels transformed by registration. The biases of these transformations are determined and incorporated in a continuous form of Simultaneous Truth And Performance Level Estimation (STAPLE) fusion, thereby improving the estimates (on average) over a single registration strategy that does not incorporate bias or fusion. We evaluate this technique using real 3D brain MR image atlases and demonstrate its efficacy on correcting the data bias and reducing the fusion error.