21 March 2016 Unsupervised fetal cortical surface parcellation
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Abstract
At the core of many neuro-imaging studies, atlas-based brain parcellations are used for example to study normal brain evolution across the lifespan. These atlases rely on the assumption that the same anatomical features are present on all subjects to be studied and that these features are stable enough to allow meaningful comparisons between different brain surfaces and structures These methods, however, often fail when applied to fetal MRI data, due to the lack of consistent anatomical features present across gestation. This paper presents a novel surface-based fetal cortical parcellation framework which attempts to circumvent the lack of consistent anatomical features by proposing a brain parcellation scheme that is based solely on learned geometrical features. A mesh signature incorporating both extrinsic and intrinsic geometrical features is proposed and used in a clustering scheme to define a parcellation of the fetal brain. This parcellation is then learned using a Random Forest (RF) based learning approach and then further refined in an alpha-expansion graph-cut scheme. Based on the votes obtained by the RF inference procedure, a probability map is computed and used as a data term in the graph-cut procedure. The smoothness term is defined by learning a transition matrix based on the dihedral angles of the faces. Qualitative and quantitative results on a cohort of both healthy and high-risk fetuses are presented. Both visual and quantitative assessments show good results demonstrating a reliable method for fetal brain data and the possibility of obtaining a parcellation of the fetal cortical surfaces using only geometrical features.
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Sonia Dahdouh, Catherine Limperopoulos, "Unsupervised fetal cortical surface parcellation", Proc. SPIE 9784, Medical Imaging 2016: Image Processing, 97840J (21 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2212805; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212805
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