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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2015 Aug;34(8):1676-93. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2015.2392054. Epub 2015 Jan 14.

Multi-Modality Vertebra Recognition in Arbitrary Views Using 3D Deformable Hierarchical Model.


Computer-aided diagnosis of spine problems relies on the automatic identification of spine structures in images. The task of automatic vertebra recognition is to identify the global spine and local vertebra structural information such as spine shape, vertebra location and pose. Vertebra recognition is challenging due to the large appearance variations in different image modalities/views and the high geometric distortions in spine shape. Existing vertebra recognitions are usually simplified as vertebrae detections, which mainly focuses on the identification of vertebra locations and labels but cannot support further spine quantitative assessment. In this paper, we propose a vertebra recognition method using 3D deformable hierarchical model (DHM) to achieve cross-modality local vertebra location+pose identification with accurate vertebra labeling, and global 3D spine shape recovery. We recast vertebra recognition as deformable model matching, fitting the input spine images with the 3D DHM via deformations. The 3D model-matching mechanism provides a more comprehensive vertebra location+pose+label simultaneous identification than traditional vertebra location+label detection, and also provides an articulated 3D mesh model for the input spine section. Moreover, DHM can conduct versatile recognition on volume and multi-slice data, even on single slice. Experiments show our method can successfully extract vertebra locations, labels, and poses from multi-slice T1/T2 MR and volume CT, and can reconstruct 3D spine model on different image views such as lumbar, cervical, even whole spine. The resulting vertebra information and the recovered shape can be used for quantitative diagnosis of spine problems and can be easily digitalized and integrated in modern medical PACS systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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