A study of Automatic Segmentation of 3-D Brain MRI and its application to Deformable Registration

Aabhas Majumdar


Automated segmentation of cortical and non-cortical human brain structures has been hitherto approached using nonrigid registration followed by label fusion. We propose an alternative approach for this using a convolutional neural network (CNN) which classifies a voxel into one of many structures. Four different kinds of two-dimensional and three-dimensional intensity patches are extracted for each voxel, providing local and global (context) information to the CNN. The proposed approach is evaluated on five different publicly available datasets which differ in the number of labels per volume. The obtained mean Dice coefficient varied according to the number of labels, for example, it is 0.844 0.031 and 0.743 0.019 for datasets with the least (32) and the most (134) number of labels, respectively. These figures are marginally better or on par with those obtained with the current state-of-the-art methods on nearly all datasets, at a reduced computational time. The consistently good performance of the proposed method across datasets and no requirement for registration make it attractive for many applications where reduced computational time is necessary. Feature-based registration has been popular with a variety of features ranging from voxel intensity to Self-Similarity Context (SSC). In the second part of the thesis, we examine the question of how features learnt using various Deep Learning (DL) frameworks for segmentation can be used for deformable registration and whether this feature learning is necessary or not. We investigate the use of features learned by different DL methods in the current state-of-the-art discrete registration framework and analyze its performance on 2 publicly available datasets. We draw insights about the type of DL framework useful for feature learning. We consider the impact, if any, of the complexity of different DL models and brain parcellation methods on the performance of discrete registration. Our results indicate that the registration performance with DL features and SSC are comparable and stable across datasets whereas this does not hold for low level features.

Year of completion:  April 2022
 Advisor : Jayanthi Sivaswamy

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