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Atlas Renormalization for Improved Brain MR Image Segmentation across Scanner Platforms

Atlas-based approaches have demonstrated the ability to automatically identify detailed brain structures from 3-D magnetic resonance (MR) brain images. Unfortunately, the accuracy of this type of method often degrades when processing data acquired on a different scanner platform or pulse sequence than the data used for the atlas training. In this paper, we improve the performance of an atlas-based whole brain segmentation method by introducing an intensity renormalization procedure that automatically adjusts the prior atlas intensity model to new input data. Validation using manually labeled test datasets has shown that the new procedure improves the segmentation accuracy (as measured by the Dice coefficient) by 10% or more for several structures including hippocampus, amygdala, caudate, and pallidum. The results verify that this new procedure reduces the sensitivity of the whole brain segmentation method to changes in scanner platforms and improves its accuracy and robustness, which can thus facilitate multicenter or multisite neuroanatomical imaging studies.




Key Investigators

  • MGH Algorithms: Xiao Han, Bruce Fischl


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