Segmentation and measurement of brain structures in MRI including confidence bounds.
González Ballester MA., Zisserman A., Brady M.
The advent of new and improved imaging devices has allowed an impressive increase in the accuracy and precision of MRI acquisitions. However, the volumetric nature of the image formation process implies an inherent uncertainty, known as the partial volume effect, which can be further affected by artifacts such as magnetic inhomogeneities and noise. These degradations seriously challenge the application to MRI of any segmentation method, especially on data sets where the size of the object or effect to be studied is small relative to the voxel size, as is the case in multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. We develop an approach to this problem by estimating a set of bounds on the spatial location of each organ to be segmented. First, we describe a method for 3D segmentation from voxel data which combines statistical classification and geometry-driven segmentation; then we discuss how the partial volume effect is estimated and object measurements are obtained. A comprehensive validation study and a set of results on clinical applications are also described.