Author(s): Martin S, Troccaz J, Daanenc V
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Abstract PURPOSE: The authors present a fully automatic algorithm for the segmentation of the prostate in three-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) images. METHODS: The approach requires the use of an anatomical atlas which is built by computing transformation fields mapping a set of manually segmented images to a common reference. These transformation fields are then applied to the manually segmented structures of the training set in order to get a probabilistic map on the atlas. The segmentation is then realized through a two stage procedure. In the first stage, the processed image is registered to the probabilistic atlas. Subsequently, a probabilistic segmentation is obtained by mapping the probabilistic map of the atlas to the patient's anatomy. In the second stage, a deformable surface evolves toward the prostate boundaries by merging information coming from the probabilistic segmentation, an image feature model and a statistical shape model. During the evolution of the surface, the probabilistic segmentation allows the introduction of a spatial constraint that prevents the deformable surface from leaking in an unlikely configuration. RESULTS: The proposed method is evaluated on 36 exams that were manually segmented by a single expert. A median Dice similarity coefficient of 0.86 and an average surface error of 2.41 mm are achieved. CONCLUSIONS: By merging prior knowledge, the presented method achieves a robust and completely automatic segmentation of the prostate in MR images. Results show that the use of a spatial constraint is useful to increase the robustness of the deformable model comparatively to a deformable surface that is only driven by an image appearance model.
This article was published in Med Phys
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology