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12 March 2010 T1- and T2-weighted spatially constrained fuzzy c-means clustering for brain MRI segmentation
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The segmentation of brain tissue in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays an important role in clinical analysis and is useful for many applications including studying brain diseases, surgical planning and computer assisted diagnoses. In general, accurate tissue segmentation is a difficult task, not only because of the complicated structure of the brain and the anatomical variability between subjects, but also because of the presence of noise and low tissue contrasts in the MRI images, especially in neonatal brain images. Fuzzy clustering techniques have been widely used in automated image segmentation. However, since the standard fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm does not consider any spatial information, it is highly sensitive to noise. In this paper, we present an extension of the FCM algorithm to overcome this drawback, by combining information from both T1-weighted (T1-w) and T2-weighted (T2-w) MRI scans and by incorporating spatial information. This new spatially constrained FCM (SCFCM) clustering algorithm preserves the homogeneity of the regions better than existing FCM techniques, which often have difficulties when tissues have overlapping intensity profiles. The performance of the proposed algorithm is tested on simulated and real adult MR brain images with different noise levels, as well as on neonatal MR brain images with the gestational age of 39 weeks. Experimental quantitative and qualitative segmentation results show that the proposed method is effective and more robust to noise than other FCM-based methods. Also, SCFCM appears as a very promising tool for complex and noisy image segmentation of the neonatal brain.
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Ivana Despotović, Bart Goossens, Ewout Vansteenkiste, and Wilfried Philips "T1- and T2-weighted spatially constrained fuzzy c-means clustering for brain MRI segmentation", Proc. SPIE 7623, Medical Imaging 2010: Image Processing, 76231V (12 March 2010);


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