Showing papers in "IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging in 2003"
TL;DR: An overview is presented of the medical image processing literature on mutual-information-based registration, an introduction for those new to the field, an overview for those working in the field and a reference for those searching for literature on a specific application.
Abstract: An overview is presented of the medical image processing literature on mutual-information-based registration. The aim of the survey is threefold: an introduction for those new to the field, an overview for those working in the field, and a reference for those searching for literature on a specific application. Methods are classified according to the different aspects of mutual-information-based registration. The main division is in aspects of the methodology and of the application. The part on methodology describes choices made on facets such as preprocessing of images, gray value interpolation, optimization, adaptations to the mutual information measure, and different types of geometrical transformations. The part on applications is a reference of the literature available on different modalities, on interpatient registration and on different anatomical objects. Comparison studies including mutual information are also considered. The paper starts with a description of entropy and mutual information and it closes with a discussion on past achievements and some future challenges.
TL;DR: A parametric model for an implicit representation of the segmenting curve is derived by applying principal component analysis to a collection of signed distance representations of the training data to minimize an objective function for segmentation.
Abstract: We propose a shape-based approach to curve evolution for the segmentation of medical images containing known object types. In particular, motivated by the work of Leventon, Grimson, and Faugeras (2000), we derive a parametric model for an implicit representation of the segmenting curve by applying principal component analysis to a collection of signed distance representations of the training data. The parameters of this representation are then manipulated to minimize an objective function for segmentation. The resulting algorithm is able to handle multidimensional data, can deal with topological changes of the curve, is robust to noise and initial contour placements, and is computationally efficient. At the same time, it avoids the need for point correspondences during the training phase of the algorithm. We demonstrate this technique by applying it to two medical applications; two-dimensional segmentation of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and three-dimensional segmentation of prostate MRI.
TL;DR: An algorithm for three-dimensional positron emission tomography transmission-to-computed tomography registration in the chest is implemented, using mutual information as a similarity criterion, and a rigid body deformation combined with localized cubic B-splines is used to capture this motion.
Abstract: We have implemented and validated an algorithm for three-dimensional positron emission tomography transmission-to-computed tomography registration in the chest, using mutual information as a similarity criterion. Inherent differences in the two imaging protocols produce significant nonrigid motion between the two acquisitions. A rigid body deformation combined with localized cubic B-splines is used to capture this motion. The deformation is defined on a regular grid and is parameterized by potentially several thousand coefficients. Together with a spline-based continuous representation of images and Parzen histogram estimates, our deformation model allows closed-form expressions for the criterion and its gradient. A limited-memory quasi-Newton optimization algorithm is used in a hierarchical multiresolution framework to automatically align the images. To characterize the performance of the method, 27 scans from patients involved in routine lung cancer staging were used in a validation study. The registrations were assessed visually by two expert observers in specific anatomic locations using a split window validation technique. The visually reported errors are in the 0- to 6-mm range and the average computation time is 100 min on a moderate-performance workstation.
TL;DR: An automated method to locate the optic nerve in images of the ocular fundus using a novel algorithm the authors call fuzzy convergence to determine the origination of the blood vessel network is described.
Abstract: We describe an automated method to locate the optic nerve in images of the ocular fundus. Our method uses a novel algorithm we call fuzzy convergence to determine the origination of the blood vessel network. We evaluate our method using 31 images of healthy retinas and 50 images of diseased retinas, containing such diverse symptoms as tortuous vessels, choroidal neovascularization, and hemorrhages that completely obscure the actual nerve. On this difficult data set, our method achieved 89% correct detection. We also compare our method against three simpler methods, demonstrating the performance improvement. All our images and data are freely available for other researchers to use in evaluating related methods.
TL;DR: A robust wavelet domain method for noise filtering in medical images that adapts itself to various types of image noise as well as to the preference of the medical expert; a single parameter can be used to balance the preservation of (expert-dependent) relevant details against the degree of noise reduction.
Abstract: We propose a robust wavelet domain method for noise filtering in medical images. The proposed method adapts itself to various types of image noise as well as to the preference of the medical expert; a single parameter can be used to balance the preservation of (expert-dependent) relevant details against the degree of noise reduction. The algorithm exploits generally valid knowledge about the correlation of significant image features across the resolution scales to perform a preliminary coefficient classification. This preliminary coefficient classification is used to empirically estimate the statistical distributions of the coefficients that represent useful image features on the one hand and mainly noise on the other. The adaptation to the spatial context in the image is achieved by using a wavelet domain indicator of the local spatial activity. The proposed method is of low complexity, both in its implementation and execution time. The results demonstrate its usefulness for noise suppression in medical ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. In these applications, the proposed method clearly outperforms single-resolution spatially adaptive algorithms, in terms of quantitative performance measures as well as in terms of visual quality of the images.
TL;DR: The preliminary results suggest that incorporation of the incompressibility regularization term improves intensity-based free-form nonrigid registration of contrast-enhanced MR breast images by greatly reducing the problem of shrinkage of Contrast-enhancing structures while simultaneously allowing motion artifacts to be substantially reduced.
Abstract: In this paper, we extend a previously reported intensity-based nonrigid registration algorithm by using a novel regularization term to constrain the deformation. Global motion is modeled by a rigid transformation while local motion is described by a free-form deformation based on B-splines. An information theoretic measure, normalized mutual information, is used as an intensity-based image similarity measure. Registration is performed by searching for the deformation that minimizes a cost function consisting of a weighted combination of the image similarity measure and a regularization term. The novel regularization term is a local volume-preservation (incompressibility) constraint, which is motivated by the assumption that soft tissue is incompressible for small deformations and short time periods. The incompressibility constraint is implemented by penalizing deviations of the Jacobian determinant of the deformation from unity. We apply the nonrigid registration algorithm with and without the incompressibility constraint to precontrast and postcontrast magnetic resonance (MR) breast images from 17 patients. Without using a constraint, the volume of contrast-enhancing lesions decreases by 1%-78% (mean 26%). Image improvement (motion artifact reduction) obtained using the new constraint is compared with that obtained using a smoothness constraint based on the bending energy of the coordinate grid by blinded visual assessment of maximum intensity projections of subtraction images. For both constraints, volume preservation improves, and motion artifact correction worsens, as the weight of the constraint penalty term increases. For a given volume change of the contrast-enhancing lesions (2% of the original volume), the incompressibility constraint reduces motion artifacts better than or equal to the smoothness constraint in 13 out of 17 cases (better in 9, equal in 4, worse in 4). The preliminary results suggest that incorporation of the incompressibility regularization term improves intensity-based free-form nonrigid registration of contrast-enhanced MR breast images by greatly reducing the problem of shrinkage of contrast-enhancing structures while simultaneously allowing motion artifacts to be substantially reduced.
TL;DR: This paper shows how the concept of statistical deformation models (SDMs) can be used for the construction of average models of the anatomy and their variability and demonstrates that SDMs can be constructed so as to minimize the bias toward the chosen reference subject.
Abstract: In this paper, we show how the concept of statistical deformation models (SDMs) can be used for the construction of average models of the anatomy and their variability. SDMs are built by performing a statistical analysis of the deformations required to map anatomical features in one subject into the corresponding features in another subject. The concept of SDMs is similar to statistical shape models (SSMs) which capture statistical information about shapes across a population, but offers several advantages over SSMs. First, SDMs can be constructed directly from images such as three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic resonance (MR) or computer tomography volumes without the need for segmentation which is usually a prerequisite for the construction of SSMs. Instead, a nonrigid registration algorithm based on free-form deformations and normalized mutual information is used to compute the deformations required to establish dense correspondences between the reference subject and the subjects in the population class under investigation. Second, SDMs allow the construction of an atlas of the average anatomy as well as its variability across a population of subjects. Finally, SDMs take the 3-D nature of the underlying anatomy into account by analysing dense 3-D deformation fields rather than only information about the surface shape of anatomical structures. We show results for the construction of anatomical models of the brain from the MR images of 25 different subjects. The correspondences obtained by the nonrigid registration are evaluated using anatomical landmark locations and show an average error of 1.40 mm at these anatomical landmark positions. We also demonstrate that SDMs can be constructed so as to minimize the bias toward the chosen reference subject.
TL;DR: This work proposes a method that permits the spatial adaptation of the transformation's compliance and allows the number of degrees of freedom in the overall transformation to be reduced, thus speeding up the process and improving its convergence properties.
Abstract: Nonrigid registration of medical images is important for a number of applications such as the creation of population averages, atlas-based segmentation, or geometric correction of functional magnetic resonance imaging (IMRI) images to name a few. In recent years, a number of methods have been proposed to solve this problem, one class of which involves maximizing a mutual information (Ml)-based objective function over a regular grid of splines. This approach has produced good results but its computational complexity is proportional to the compliance of the transformation required to register the smallest structures in the image. Here, we propose a method that permits the spatial adaptation of the transformation's compliance. This spatial adaptation allows us to reduce the number of degrees of freedom in the overall transformation, thus speeding up the process and improving its convergence properties. To develop this method, we introduce several novelties: 1) we rely on radially symmetric basis functions rather than B-splines traditionally used to model the deformation field; 2) we propose a metric to identify regions that are poorly registered and over which the transformation needs to be improved; 3) we partition the global registration problem into several smaller ones; and 4) we introduce a new constraint scheme that allows us to produce transformations that are topologically correct. We compare the approach we propose to more traditional ones and show that our new algorithm compares favorably to those in current use.
TL;DR: A tool for accelerating iterative reconstruction of field-corrected MR images: a novel time-segmented approximation to the MR signal equation that uses a min-max formulation to derive the temporal interpolator.
Abstract: In magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic field inhomogeneities cause distortions in images that are reconstructed by conventional fast Fourier transform (FFT) methods Several noniterative image reconstruction methods are used currently to compensate for field inhomogeneities, but these methods assume that the field map that characterizes the off-resonance frequencies is spatially smooth Recently, iterative methods have been proposed that can circumvent this assumption and provide improved compensation for off-resonance effects However, straightforward implementations of such iterative methods suffer from inconveniently long computation times This paper describes a tool for accelerating iterative reconstruction of field-corrected MR images: a novel time-segmented approximation to the MR signal equation We use a min-max formulation to derive the temporal interpolator Speedups of around 60 were achieved by combining this temporal interpolator with a nonuniform fast Fourier transform with normalized root mean squared approximation errors of 007% The proposed method provides fast, accurate, field-corrected image reconstruction even when the field map is not smooth
TL;DR: In registering retinal image pairs, Dual-Bootstrap ICP is initialized by automatically matching individual vascular landmarks, and it aligns images based on detected blood vessel centerlines, and the resulting quadratic transformations are accurate to less than a pixel.
Abstract: Motivated by the problem of retinal image registration, this paper introduces and analyzes a new registration algorithm called Dual-Bootstrap Iterative Closest Point (Dual-Bootstrap ICP). The approach is to start from one or more initial, low-order estimates that are only accurate in small image regions, called bootstrap regions. In each bootstrap region, the algorithm iteratively: 1) refines the transformation estimate using constraints only from within the bootstrap region; 2) expands the bootstrap region; and 3) tests to see if a higher order transformation model can be used, stopping when the region expands to cover the overlap between images. Steps 1): and 3), the bootstrap steps, are governed by the covariance matrix of the estimated transformation. Estimation refinement [Step 2)] uses a novel robust version of the ICP algorithm. In registering retinal image pairs, Dual-Bootstrap ICP is initialized by automatically matching individual vascular landmarks, and it aligns images based on detected blood vessel centerlines. The resulting quadratic transformations are accurate to less than a pixel. On tests involving approximately 6000 image pairs, it successfully registered 99.5% of the pairs containing at least one common landmark, and 100% of the pairs containing at least one common landmark and at least 35% image overlap.
TL;DR: A variational level set framework that can account for global shape consistency as well as for local deformations is proposed that can improve performance of segmentation algorithms to physically corrupted and incomplete data.
Abstract: Knowledge-based segmentation has been explored significantly in medical imaging. Prior anatomical knowledge can be used to define constraints that can improve performance of segmentation algorithms to physically corrupted and incomplete data. In this paper, the objective is to introduce such knowledge-based constraints while preserving the ability of dealing with local deformations. Toward this end, we propose a variational level set framework that can account for global shape consistency as well as for local deformations. In order to improve performance, the problems of segmentation and tracking of the structure of interest are dealt with simultaneously by introducing the notion of time in the process and looking for a solution that satisfies that prior constraints while being consistent along consecutive frames. Promising experimental results in magnetic resonance and ultrasonic cardiac images demonstrate the potentials of our approach.
TL;DR: This report provides the first 3-D tortuosity analysis of clusters of vessels within the normally tortuous intracerebral circulation and describes a new metric that incorporates counts of minima of total curvature that appears to be the most effective in detecting several types of abnormalities.
Abstract: The clinical recognition of abnormal vascular tortuosity, or excessive bending, twisting, and winding, is important to the diagnosis of many diseases. Automated detection and quantitation of abnormal vascular tortuosity from three-dimensional (3-D) medical image data would, therefore, be of value. However, previous research has centered primarily upon two-dimensional (2-D) analysis of the special subset of vessels whose paths are normally close to straight. This report provides the first 3-D tortuosity analysis of clusters of vessels within the normally tortuous intracerebral circulation. We define three different clinical patterns of abnormal tortuosity. We extend into 3-D two tortuosity metrics previously reported as useful in analyzing 2-D images and describe a new metric that incorporates counts of minima of total curvature. We extract vessels from MRA data, map corresponding anatomical regions between sets of normal patients and patients with known pathology, and evaluate the three tortuosity metrics for ability to detect each type of abnormality within the region of interest. We conclude that the new tortuosity metric appears to be the most effective in detecting several types of abnormalities. However, one of the other metrics, based on a sum of curvature magnitudes, may be more effective in recognizing tightly coiled, "corkscrew" vessels associated with malignant tumors.
TL;DR: By incorporating the atlas information into the Bayesian framework, segmentation results clearly showed improvements over a standard unsupervised segmentation method.
Abstract: There have been significant efforts to build a probabilistic atlas of the brain and to use it for many common applications, such as segmentation and registration. Though the work related to brain atlases can be applied to nonbrain organs, less attention has been paid to actually building an atlas for organs other than the brain. Motivated by the automatic identification of normal organs for applications in radiation therapy treatment planning, we present a method to construct a probabilistic atlas of an abdomen consisting of four organs (i.e., liver, kidneys, and spinal cord). Using 32 noncontrast abdominal computed tomography (CT) scans, 31 were mapped onto one individual scan using thin plate spline as the warping transform and mutual information (MI) as the similarity measure. Except for an initial coarse placement of four control points by the operators, the MI-based registration was automatic. Additionally, the four organs in each of the 32 CT data sets were manually segmented. The manual segmentations were warped onto the "standard" patient space using the same transform computed from their gray scale CT data set and a probabilistic atlas was calculated. Then, the atlas was used to aid the segmentation of low-contrast organs in an additional 20 CT data sets not included in the atlas. By incorporating the atlas information into the Bayesian framework, segmentation results clearly showed improvements over a standard unsupervised segmentation method.
TL;DR: This paper summarizes AAM applications within medicine and describes a public domain implementation, namely the flexible appearance modeling environment (FAME), and gives guidelines for the use of this research platform.
Abstract: Combined modeling of pixel intensities and shape has proven to be a very robust and widely applicable approach to interpret images. As such the active appearance model (AAM) framework has been applied to a wide variety of problems within medical image analysis. This paper summarizes AAM applications within medicine and describes a public domain implementation, namely the flexible appearance modeling environment (FAME). We give guidelines for the use of this research platform, and show that the optimization techniques used renders it applicable to interactive medical applications. To increase performance and make models generalize better, we apply parallel analysis to obtain automatic and objective model truncation. Further, two different AAM training methods are compared along with a reference case study carried out on cross-sectional short-axis cardiac magnetic resonance images and face images. Source code and annotated data sets needed to reproduce the results are put in the public domain for further investigation.
TL;DR: An adaptive spatial fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm is presented in this paper for the segmentation of three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic resonance (MR) images that takes into account the spatial continuity constraints by using a dissimilarity index that allows spatial interactions between image voxels.
Abstract: An adaptive spatial fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm is presented in this paper for the segmentation of three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic resonance (MR) images. The input images may be corrupted by noise and intensity nonuniformity (INU) artifact. The proposed algorithm takes into account the spatial continuity constraints by using a dissimilarity index that allows spatial interactions between image voxels. The local spatial continuity constraint reduces the noise effect and the classification ambiguity. The INU artifact is formulated as a multiplicative bias field affecting the true MR imaging signal. By modeling the log bias field as a stack of smoothing B-spline surfaces, with continuity enforced across slices, the computation of the 3-D bias field reduces to that of finding the B-spline coefficients, which can be obtained using a computationally efficient two-stage algorithm. The efficacy of the proposed algorithm is demonstrated by extensive segmentation experiments using both simulated and real MR images and by comparison with other published algorithms.
TL;DR: Three-dimensional methods for the segmentation, analysis, and characterization of small pulmonary nodules imaged using computed tomography (CT) are described, representing the first such system in clinical use.
Abstract: Small pulmonary nodules are a common radiographic finding that presents an important diagnostic challenge in contemporary medicine. While pulmonary nodules are the major radiographic indicator of lung cancer, they may also be signs of a variety of benign conditions. Measurement of nodule growth rate over time has been shown to be the most promising tool in distinguishing malignant from nonmalignant pulmonary nodules. In this paper, we describe three-dimensional (3-D) methods for the segmentation, analysis, and characterization of small pulmonary nodules imaged using computed tomography (CT). Methods for the isotropic resampling of anisotropic CT data are discussed. 3-D intensity and morphology-based segmentation algorithms are discussed for several classes of nodules. New models and methods for volumetric growth characterization based on longitudinal CT studies are developed. The results of segmentation and growth characterization methods based on in vivo studies are described. The methods presented are promising in their ability to distinguish malignant from nonmalignant pulmonary nodules and represent the first such system in clinical use.
TL;DR: A method was developed for registering three-dimensional knee implant models to single plane X-ray fluoroscopy images using a direct image-to-image similarity measure, taking advantage of the speed of modern computer graphics workstations to quickly render simulated (predicted) images.
Abstract: A method was developed for registering three-dimensional knee implant models to single plane X-ray fluoroscopy images. We use a direct image-to-image similarity measure, taking advantage of the speed of modern computer graphics workstations to quickly render simulated (predicted) images. As a result, the method does not require an accurate segmentation of the implant silhouette in the image (which can be prone to errors). A robust optimization algorithm (simulated annealing) is used that can escape local minima and find the global minimum (true solution). Although we focus on the analysis of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in this paper, the method can be (and has been) applied to other implanted joints, including, but not limited to, hips, ankles, and temporomandibular joints. Convergence tests on an in vivo image show that the registration method can reliably find poses that are very close to the optimal (i.e., within 0.4/spl deg/ and 0.1 mm), even from starting poses with large initial errors. However, the precision of translation measurement in the Z (out-of-plane) direction is not as good. We also show that the method is robust with respect to image noise and occlusions. However, a small amount of user supervision and intervention is necessary to detect cases when the optimization algorithm falls into a local minimum. Intervention is required less than 5% of the time when the initial starting pose is reasonably close to the correct answer, but up to 50% of the time when the initial starting pose is far away. Finally, extensive evaluations were performed on cadaver images to determine accuracy of relative pose measurement. Comparing against data derived from an optical sensor as a "gold standard," the overall root-mean-square error of the registration method was approximately 1.5/spl deg/ and 0.65 mm (although Z translation error was higher). However, uncertainty in the optical sensor data may account for a large part of the observed error.
TL;DR: It is concluded that general robust PV segmentation of MR brain images requires statistical models that describe the spatial distribution of brain tissues more accurately than currently available models.
Abstract: Accurate brain tissue segmentation by intensity-based voxel classification of magnetic resonance (MR) images is complicated by partial volume (PV) voxels that contain a mixture of two or more tissue types. In this paper, we present a statistical framework for PV segmentation that encompasses and extends existing techniques. We start from a commonly used parametric statistical image model in which each voxel belongs to one single tissue type, and introduce an additional downsampling step that causes partial voluming along the borders between tissues. An expectation-maximization approach is used to simultaneously estimate the parameters of the resulting model and perform a PV classification. We present results on well-chosen simulated images and on real MR images of the brain, and demonstrate that the use of appropriate spatial prior knowledge not only improves the classifications, but is often indispensable for robust parameter estimation as well. We conclude that general robust PV segmentation of MR brain images requires statistical models that describe the spatial distribution of brain tissues more accurately than currently available models.
TL;DR: A novel technique to automatically find lesion margins in ultrasound images, by combining intensity and texture with empirical domain specific knowledge along with directional gradient and a deformable shape-based model is presented.
Abstract: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy and the second leading cause of mortality in women . In the last decade, ultrasound along with digital mammography has come to be regarded as the gold standard for breast cancer diagnosis. Automatically detecting tumors and extracting lesion boundaries in ultrasound images is difficult due to their specular nature and the variance in shape and appearance of sonographic lesions. Past work on automated ultrasonic breast lesion segmentation has not addressed important issues such as shadowing artifacts or dealing with similar tumor like structures in the sonogram. Algorithms that claim to automatically classify ultrasonic breast lesions, rely on manual delineation of the tumor boundaries. In this paper, we present a novel technique to automatically find lesion margins in ultrasound images, by combining intensity and texture with empirical domain specific knowledge along with directional gradient and a deformable shape-based model. The images are first filtered to remove speckle noise and then contrast enhanced to emphasize the tumor regions. For the first time, a mathematical formulation of the empirical rules used by radiologists in detecting ultrasonic breast lesions, popularly known as the "Stavros Criteria" is presented in this paper. We have applied this formulation to automatically determine a seed point within the image. Probabilistic classification of image pixels based on intensity and texture is followed by region growing using the automatically determined seed point to obtain an initial segmentation of the lesion. Boundary points are found on the directional gradient of the image. Outliers are removed by a process of recursive refinement. These boundary points are then supplied as an initial estimate to a deformable model. Incorporating empirical domain specific knowledge along with low and high-level knowledge makes it possible to avoid shadowing artifacts and lowers the chance of confusing similar tumor like structures for the lesion. The system was validated on a database of breast sonograms for 42 patients. The average mean boundary error between manual and automated segmentation was 6.6 pixels and the normalized true positive area overlap was 75.1%. The algorithm was found to be robust to 1) variations in system parameters, 2) number of training samples used, and 3) the position of the seed point within the tumor. Running time for segmenting a single sonogram was 18 s on a 1.8-GHz Pentium machine.
TL;DR: Experiments show that the proposedwavelet-based multiscale products thresholding scheme better suppresses noise and preserves edges than other wavelet-thresholding denoising methods.
Abstract: Edge-preserving denoising is of great interest in medical image processing. This paper presents a wavelet-based multiscale products thresholding scheme for noise suppression of magnetic resonance images. A Canny edge detector-like dyadic wavelet transform is employed. This results in the significant features in images evolving with high magnitude across wavelet scales, while noise decays rapidly. To exploit the wavelet interscale dependencies we multiply the adjacent wavelet subbands to enhance edge structures while weakening noise. In the multiscale products, edges can be effectively distinguished from noise. Thereafter, an adaptive threshold is calculated and imposed on the products, instead of on the wavelet coefficients, to identify important features. Experiments show that the proposed scheme better suppresses noise and preserves edges than other wavelet-thresholding denoising methods.
TL;DR: By modifying the scaling functions of BSREM, this work is able to prove the convergence of the modified BSREM under realistic assumptions and introduces relaxation into the OS-SPS algorithm that otherwise would converge to a limit cycle.
Abstract: We present two types of globally convergent relaxed ordered subsets (OS) algorithms for penalized-likelihood image reconstruction in emission tomography: modified block sequential regularized expectation-maximization (BSREM) and relaxed OS separable paraboloidal surrogates (OS-SPS). The global convergence proof of the existing BSREM (De Pierro and Yamagishi, 2001) required a few a posteriori assumptions. By modifying the scaling functions of BSREM, we are able to prove the convergence of the modified BSREM under realistic assumptions. Our modification also makes stepsize selection more convenient. In addition, we introduce relaxation into the OS-SPS algorithm (Erdogan and Fessler, 1999) that otherwise would converge to a limit cycle. We prove the global convergence of diagonally scaled incremental gradient methods of which the relaxed OS-SPS is a special case; main results of the proofs are from (Nedic and Bertsekas, 2001) and (Correa and Lemarechal, 1993). Simulation results showed that both new algorithms achieve global convergence yet retain the fast initial convergence speed of conventional unrelaxed ordered subsets algorithms.
TL;DR: The results of this paper show that it is possible to identify a group of patients at risk of stroke based on texture features extracted from ultrasound images of carotid plaques, whereas other patients may be spared from an unnecessary operation.
Abstract: There are indications that the morphology of atherosclerotic carotid plaques, obtained by high-resolution ultrasound imaging, has prognostic implications. The objective of this study was to develop a computer-aided system that will facilitate the characterization of carotid plaques for the identification of individuals with asymptomatic carotid stenosis at risk of stroke. A total of 230 plaque images were collected which were classified into two types: symptomatic because of ipsilateral hemispheric symptoms, or asymptomatic because they were not connected with ipsilateral hemispheric events. Ten different texture feature sets were extracted from the manually segmented plaque images using the following algorithms: first-order statistics, spatial gray level dependence matrices, gray level difference statistics, neighborhood gray tone difference matrix, statistical feature matrix, Laws texture energy measures, fractal dimension texture analysis, Fourier power spectrum and shape parameters. For the classification task a modular neural network composed of self-organizing map (SOM) classifiers, and combining techniques based on a confidence measure were used. Combining the classification results of the ten SOM classifiers inputted with the ten feature sets improved the classification rate of the individual classifiers, reaching an average diagnostic yield (DY) of 73.1%. The same modular system was implemented using the statistical k-nearest neighbor (KNN) classifier. The combined DY for the KNN system was 68.8%. The results of this paper show that it is possible to identify a group of patients at risk of stroke based on texture features extracted from ultrasound images of carotid plaques. This group of patients may benefit from a carotid endarterectomy whereas other patients may be spared from an unnecessary operation.
TL;DR: The validation method presented here is an important step toward more generic simulations of biomechanically plausible tissue deformations and quantification of tissue motion recovery using nonrigid image registration.
Abstract: Presents a novel method for validation of nonrigid medical image registration. This method is based on the simulation of physically plausible, biomechanical tissue deformations using finite-element methods. Applying a range of displacements to finite-element models of different patient anatomies generates model solutions which simulate gold standard deformations. From these solutions, deformed images are generated with a range of deformations typical of those likely to occur in vivo. The registration accuracy with respect to the finite-element simulations is quantified by co-registering the deformed images with the original images and comparing the recovered voxel displacements with the biomechanically simulated ones. The functionality of the validation method is demonstrated for a previously described nonrigid image registration technique based on free-form deformations using B-splines and normalized mutual information as a voxel similarity measure, with an application to contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance mammography image pairs. The exemplar nonrigid registration technique is shown to be of subvoxel accuracy on average for this particular application. The validation method presented here is an important step toward more generic simulations of biomechanically plausible tissue deformations and quantification of tissue motion recovery using nonrigid image registration. It will provide a basis for improving and comparing different nonrigid registration techniques for a diversity of medical applications, such as intrasubject tissue deformation or motion correction in the brain, liver or heart.
TL;DR: A highly automated three-dimensionally based method for the segmentation of bone in volumetric computed tomography (CT) datasets that is robust to noise, insensitive to user-defined thresholds, highly automated and fast, and easy to initialize is developed.
Abstract: We developed a highly automated three-dimensionally based method for the segmentation of bone in volumetric computed tomography (CT) datasets. The multistep approach starts with three-dimensional (3-D) region-growing using local adaptive thresholds followed by procedures to correct for remaining boundary discontinuities and a subsequent anatomically oriented boundary adjustment using local values of cortical bone density. We describe the details of our approach and show applications in the proximal femur, the knee, and the skull. The accuracy of the determination of geometrical parameters was analyzed using CT scans of the semi-anthropomorphic European spine phantom. Depending on the settings of the segmentation parameters cortical thickness could be determined with an accuracy corresponding to the side length of 1 to 2.5 voxels. The impact of noise on the segmentation was investigated by artificially adding noise to the CT data. An increase in noise by factors of two and five changed cortical thickness corresponding to the side length of one voxel. Intraoperator and interoperator precision was analyzed by repeated analysis of nine pelvic CT scans. Precision errors were smaller than 1% for trabecular and total volumes and smaller than 2% for cortical thickness. Intraoperator and interoperator precision errors were not significantly different. Our segmentation approach shows: 1) high accuracy and precision and is 2) robust to noise, 3) insensitive to user-defined thresholds, 4) highly automated and fast, and 5) easy to initialize.
TL;DR: Although the interest in intraoperative registration strongly increased in the late 1990s, there seems to be a slight relative decrease in recent years, and two topics in image registration that are currently considered hot are intraoperative and elastic registration.
Abstract: In order to demonstrate the growth of the medical image registration field over the past decades, this paper presents the number of journal publications on this topic since 1988 until 2002. In a similar manner, trends in topics within the field of medical image registration are detected. Publications on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are rather constant through the years. Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), on the other hand, seem to loose ground to newly emerging functional imaging techniques, such as functional MRI (fMRI) whereas an increase in interest in registration of ultrasound (US) images was observed. Two topics in image registration that are currently considered hot are intraoperative and elastic registration. Although the interest in intraoperative registration strongly increased in the late 1990s, there seems to be a slight relative decrease in recent years. On the other hand, elastic registration has become a popular topic, reaching the highest numbers so far in 2002.
TL;DR: A hierarchical deformation strategy is employed, in which the model adaptively focuses on the similarity of different Gabor features at different deformation stages using a multiresolution technique, i.e., coarse features first and fine features later.
Abstract: Presents a statistical shape model for the automatic prostate segmentation in transrectal ultrasound images. A Gabor filter bank is first used to characterize the prostate boundaries in ultrasound images in both multiple scales and multiple orientations. The Gabor features are further reconstructed to be invariant to the rotation of the ultrasound probe and incorporated in the prostate model as image attributes for guiding the deformable segmentation. A hierarchical deformation strategy is then employed, in which the model adaptively focuses on the similarity of different Gabor features at different deformation stages using a multiresolution technique, i.e., coarse features first and fine features later. A number of successful experiments validate the algorithm.
TL;DR: Experimental results suggest that platelet-based methods can outperform standard reconstruction methods currently in use in confocal microscopy, image restoration, and emission tomography.
Abstract: The nonparametric multiscale platelet algorithms presented in this paper, unlike traditional wavelet-based methods, are both well suited to photon-limited medical imaging applications involving Poisson data and capable of better approximating edge contours. This paper introduces platelets, localized functions at various scales, locations, and orientations that produce piecewise linear image approximations, and a new multiscale image decomposition based on these functions. Platelets are well suited for approximating images consisting of smooth regions separated by smooth boundaries. For smoothness measured in certain Holder classes, it is shown that the error of m-term platelet approximations can decay significantly faster than that of m-term approximations in terms of sinusoids, wavelets, or wedgelets. This suggests that platelets may outperform existing techniques for image denoising and reconstruction. Fast, platelet-based, maximum penalized likelihood methods for photon-limited image denoising, deblurring and tomographic reconstruction problems are developed. Because platelet decompositions of Poisson distributed images are tractable and computationally efficient, existing image reconstruction methods based on expectation-maximization type algorithms can be easily enhanced with platelet techniques. Experimental results suggest that platelet-based methods can outperform standard reconstruction methods currently in use in confocal microscopy, image restoration, and emission tomography.
TL;DR: A general-purpose registration algorithm for medical images and volumes that models the transformation between images as locally affine but globally smooth, and is highly effective across a broad range of synthetic and clinical medical images.
Abstract: We have developed a general-purpose registration algorithm for medical images and volumes. This method models the transformation between images as locally affine but globally smooth. The model also explicitly accounts for local and global variations in image intensities. This approach is built upon a differential multiscale framework, allowing us to capture both large- and small-scale transformations. We show that this approach is highly effective across a broad range of synthetic and clinical medical images.
TL;DR: A fully automatic technique for segmenting the airway tree in three-dimensional (3-D) CT images of the thorax using grayscale morphological reconstruction to identify candidate airways on CT slices and then reconstruct a connected 3-DAirway tree.
Abstract: The lungs exchange air with the external environment via the pulmonary airways Computed tomography (CT) scanning can be used to obtain detailed images of the pulmonary anatomy, including the airways These images have been used to measure airway geometry, study airway reactivity, and guide surgical interventions Prior to these applications, airway segmentation can be used to identify the airway lumen in the CT images Airway tree segmentation can be performed manually by an image analyst, but the complexity of the tree makes manual segmentation tedious and extremely time-consuming We describe a fully automatic technique for segmenting the airway tree in three-dimensional (3-D) CT images of the thorax We use grayscale morphological reconstruction to identify candidate airways on CT slices and then reconstruct a connected 3-D airway tree After segmentation, we estimate airway branchpoints based on connectivity changes in the reconstructed tree Compared to manual analysis on 3-mm-thick electron-beam CT images, the automatic approach has an overall airway branch detection sensitivity of approximately 73%
TL;DR: This paper presents a method that overcomes this limitation, by using a hierarchical formulation of active shape models, using the wavelet transform, and eliminates the need for adopting ad hoc physical models, such as elasticity or other smoothness models, which do not necessarily reflect true biological variability.
Abstract: Active shape models (ASMs) are often limited by the inability of relatively few eigenvectors to capture the full range of biological shape variability. This paper presents a method that overcomes this limitation, by using a hierarchical formulation of active shape models, using the wavelet transform. The statistical properties of the wavelet transform of a deformable contour are analyzed via principal component analysis, and used as priors in the contour's deformation. Some of these priors reflect relatively global shape characteristics of the object boundaries, whereas, some of them capture local and high-frequency shape characteristics and, thus, serve as local smoothness constraints. This formulation achieves two objectives. First, it is robust when only a limited number of training samples is available. Second, by using local statistics as smoothness constraints, it eliminates the need for adopting ad hoc physical models, such as elasticity or other smoothness models, which do not necessarily reflect true biological variability. Examples on magnetic resonance images of the corpus callosum and hand contours demonstrate that good and fully automated segmentations can be achieved, even with as few as five training samples.