Construction of Abdominal Probabilistic Atlases and Their Value in Segmentation of Normal Organs in Abdominal CT Scans

Hyunjin PARK  Alfred HERO  Peyton BLAND  Marc KESSLER  Jongbum SEO  Charles MEYER  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E93-D   No.8   pp.2291-2301
Publication Date: 2010/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biological Engineering
Keyword: 
atlas construction,  segmentation,  target selection,  multidimensional scaling,  

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Summary: 
A good abdominal probabilistic atlas can provide important information to guide segmentation and registration applications in the abdomen. Here we build and test probabilistic atlases using 24 abdominal CT scans with available expert manual segmentations. Atlases are built by picking a target and mapping other training scans onto that target and then summing the results into one probabilistic atlas. We improve our previous abdominal atlas by 1) choosing a least biased target as determined by a statistical tool, i.e. multidimensional scaling operating on bending energy, 2) using a better set of control points to model the deformation, and 3) using higher information content CT scans with visible internal liver structures. One atlas is built in the least biased target space and two atlases are built in other target spaces for performance comparisons. The value of an atlas is assessed based on the resulting segmentations; whichever atlas yields the best segmentation performance is considered the better atlas. We consider two segmentation methods of abdominal volumes after registration with the probabilistic atlas: 1) simple segmentation by atlas thresholding and 2) application of a Bayesian maximum a posteriori method. Using jackknifing we measure the atlas-augmented segmentation performance with respect to manual expert segmentation and show that the atlas built in the least biased target space yields better segmentation performance than atlases built in other target spaces.