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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 1996;15(4):429-42.

Adaptive segmentation of MRI data.

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Dept. of Radiol., Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.


Intensity-based classification of MR images has proven problematic, even when advanced techniques are used. Intrascan and interscan intensity inhomogeneities are a common source of difficulty. While reported methods have had some success in correcting intrascan inhomogeneities, such methods require supervision for the individual scan. This paper describes a new method called adaptive segmentation that uses knowledge of tissue intensity properties and intensity inhomogeneities to correct and segment MR images. Use of the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm leads to a method that allows for more accurate segmentation of tissue types as well as better visualization of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, that has proven to be effective in a study that includes more than 1000 brain scans. Implementation and results are described for segmenting the brain in the following types of images: axial (dual-echo spin-echo), coronal [three dimensional Fourier transform (3-DFT) gradient-echo T1-weighted] all using a conventional head coil, and a sagittal section acquired using a surface coil. The accuracy of adaptive segmentation was found to be comparable with manual segmentation, and closer to manual segmentation than supervised multivariant classification while segmenting gray and white matter.


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