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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59990. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059990. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the newborn brain: automatic segmentation of brain images into 50 anatomical regions.

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Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, and Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


We studied methods for the automatic segmentation of neonatal and developing brain images into 50 anatomical regions, utilizing a new set of manually segmented magnetic resonance (MR) images from 5 term-born and 15 preterm infants imaged at term corrected age called ALBERTs. Two methods were compared: individual registrations with label propagation and fusion; and template based registration with propagation of a maximum probability neonatal ALBERT (MPNA). In both cases we evaluated the performance of different neonatal atlases and MPNA, and the approaches were compared with the manual segmentations by means of the Dice overlap coefficient. Dice values, averaged across regions, were 0.81±0.02 using label propagation and fusion for the preterm population, and 0.81±0.02 using the single registration of a MPNA for the term population. Segmentations of 36 further unsegmented target images of developing brains yielded visibly high-quality results. This registration approach allows the rapid construction of automatically labeled age-specific brain atlases for neonates and the developing brain.

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