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Med Image Anal. 2010 Jun;14(3):360-72. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Automatic cerebral and cerebellar hemisphere segmentation in 3D MRI: adaptive disconnection algorithm.

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Department of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 553, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland.


This paper describes the automatic Adaptive Disconnection method to segment cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres of human brain in three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using the partial differential equations based shape bottlenecks algorithm cooperating with an information potential value clustering process, it detects and cuts, first, the compartmental connections between the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem in the white matter domain, and then, the interhemispheric connections of the extracted cerebrum and cerebellum volumes. As long as the subject orientation in the scanner is given, the variations in subject location and normal brain morphology in different images are accommodated automatically, thus no stereotaxic image registration is required. The modeling of partial volume effect is used to locate cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem boundaries, and make the interhemispheric connections detectable. The Adaptive Disconnection method was tested with 10 simulated images from the BrainWeb database and 39 clinical images from the LONI Probabilistic Brain Atlas database. It obtained lower error rates than a traditional shape bottlenecks algorithm based segmentation technique (BrainVisa) and linear and nonlinear registration based brain hemisphere segmentation methods. Segmentation accuracies were evaluated against manual segmentations. The Adaptive Disconnection method was also confirmed not to be sensitive to the noise and intensity non-uniformity in the images. We also applied the Adaptive Disconnection method to clinical images of 22 healthy controls and 18 patients with schizophrenia. A preliminary cerebral volumetric asymmetry analysis based on these images demonstrated that the Adaptive Disconnection method is applicable to study abnormal brain asymmetry in schizophrenia.

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