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29 April 2005 Skeleton-based region competition for automated gray matter and white matter segmentation of human brain MR images
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Image segmentation is an essential process for quantitative analysis. Segmentation of brain tissues in magnetic resonance (MR) images is very important for understanding the structural-functional relationship for various pathological conditions, such as dementia vs. normal brain aging. Different brain regions are responsible for certain functions and may have specific implication for diagnosis. Segmentation may facilitate the analysis of different brain regions to aid in early diagnosis. Region competition has been recently proposed as an effective method for image segmentation by minimizing a generalized Bayes/MDL criterion. However, it is sensitive to initial conditions -- the "seeds", therefore an optimal choice of “seeds” is necessary for accurate segmentation. In this paper, we present a new skeleton-based region competition algorithm for automated gray and white matter segmentation. Skeletons can be considered as good "seed regions" since they provide the morphological a priori information, thus guarantee a correct initial condition. Intensity gradient information is also added to the global energy function to achieve a precise boundary localization. This algorithm was applied to perform gray and white matter segmentation using simulated MRI images from a realistic digital brain phantom. Nine different brain regions were manually outlined for evaluation of the performance in these separate regions. The results were compared to the gold-standard measure to calculate the true positive and true negative percentages. In general, this method worked well with a 96% accuracy, although the performance varied in different regions. We conclude that the skeleton-based region competition is an effective method for gray and white matter segmentation.
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Yong Chu, Ya-Fang Chen, Min-Ying Su, and Orhan Nalcioglu "Skeleton-based region competition for automated gray matter and white matter segmentation of human brain MR images", Proc. SPIE 5747, Medical Imaging 2005: Image Processing, (29 April 2005);

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