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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Jun;31(6):1311-22. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22004.

Automatic segmentation of white matter hyperintensities in the elderly using FLAIR images at 3T.

Author information

1
Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the precision and accuracy of an automated method for segmenting white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on fast fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) images in elderly brains at 3T.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

FLAIR images from 18 individuals (60-82 years, 9 females) with WMH burdens ranging from 1-80 cm(3) were used. The protocol included the removal of clearly hyperintense voxels; two-class fuzzy C-means clustering (FCM); and thresholding to segment probable WMH. Two false-positive minimization (FPM) methods using white matter templates were tested. Precision was assessed by adding synthetic hyperintense voxels to brain slices. Accuracy was validated by comparing automatic and manual segmentations. Whole-brain, voxel-wise metrics of similarity, under- and overestimation were used to evaluate both precision and accuracy.

RESULTS:

Precision was high, as the lowest accuracy in the synthetic datasets was 93%. Both FPM strategies successfully improved overall accuracy. Whole-brain accuracy for the FCM segmentation alone ranged from 45%-81%, which improved to 75%-85% using the FPM strategies.

CONCLUSION:

The method was accurate across the range of WMH burden typically seen in the elderly. Accuracy levels achieved or exceeded those of other approaches using multispectral and/or more sophisticated pattern recognition methods.

PMID:
20512882
PMCID:
PMC2905619
DOI:
10.1002/jmri.22004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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