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14 February 2012 Placental fetal stem segmentation in a sequence of histology images
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Recent research in perinatal pathology argues that analyzing properties of the placenta may reveal important information on how certain diseases progress. One important property is the structure of the placental fetal stems. Analysis of the fetal stems in a placenta could be useful in the study and diagnosis of some diseases like autism. To study the fetal stem structure effectively, we need to automatically and accurately track fetal stems through a sequence of digitized hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained histology slides. There are many problems in successfully achieving this goal. A few of the problems are: large size of images, misalignment of the consecutive H&E slides, unpredictable inaccuracies of manual tracing, very complicated texture patterns of various tissue types without clear characteristics, just to name a few. In this paper we propose a novel algorithm to achieve automatic tracing of the fetal stem in a sequence of H&E images, based on an inaccurate manual segmentation of a fetal stem in one of the images. This algorithm combines global affine registration, local non-affine registration and a novel 'dynamic' version of the active contours model without edges. We first use global affine image registration of all the images based on displacement, scaling and rotation. This gives us approximate location of the corresponding fetal stem in the image that needs to be traced. We then use the affine registration algorithm "locally" near this location. At this point, we use a fast non-affine registration based on L2-similarity measure and diffusion regularization to get a better location of the fetal stem. Finally, we have to take into account inaccuracies in the initial tracing. This is achieved through a novel dynamic version of the active contours model without edges where the coefficients of the fitting terms are computed iteratively to ensure that we obtain a unique stem in the segmentation. The segmentation thus obtained can then be used as an initial guess to obtain segmentation in the rest of the images in the sequence. This constitutes an important step in the extraction and understanding of the fetal stem vasculature.
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Prashant Athavale and Luminita A. Vese "Placental fetal stem segmentation in a sequence of histology images", Proc. SPIE 8314, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Processing, 83143A (14 February 2012);

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