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Detection of vertebral body fractures based on cortical shell unwrapping.

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  • 1Radiology and Imaging Sciences Department, Clinical Center, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Assessment of trauma patients with multiple injuries can be one of the most clinically challenging situations dealt with by the radiologist. We propose a fully automated method to detect acute vertebral body fractures on trauma CT studies. The spine is first segmented and partitioned into vertebrae. Then the cortical shell of the vertebral body is extracted using deformable dual-surface models. The extracted cortical shell is unwrapped onto a 2D map effectively converting a complex 3D fracture detection problem into a pattern recognition problem of fracture lines on a 2D plane. Twenty-eight features are computed for each fracture line and sent to a committee of support vector machines for classification. The system was tested on 18 trauma CT datasets and achieved 95.3% sensitivity and 1.7 false positives per case by leave-one-out cross validation.

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