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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 1994;13(4):716-24.

Morphometric analysis of white matter lesions in MR images: method and validation.

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Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN.


The analysis of MR images is evolving from qualitative to quantitative. More and more, the question asked by clinicians is how much and where, rather than a simple statement on the presence or absence of abnormalities. The authors present a study in which the results obtained with a semiautomatic, multispectral segmentation technique are quantitatively compared to manually delineated regions. The core of the semiautomatic image analysis system is a supervised artificial neural network classifier augmented with dedicated preand postprocessing algorithms, including anisotropic noise filtering and a surface-fitting method for the correction of spatial intensity variations. The study was focused on the quantitation of white matter lesions in the human brain. A total of 36 images from six brain volumes was analyzed twice by each of two operators, under supervision of a neuroradiologist. Both the intra- and interrater variability of the methods were studied in terms of the average tissue area detected per slice, the correlation coefficients between area measurements, and a measure of similarity derived from the kappa statistic. The results indicate that, compared to a manual method, the use of the semiautomatic technique not only facilitates the analysis of the images, but also has similar or lower intra- and interrater variabilities.


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