A Hybrid Technique for Thickness-Map Visualization of the Hip Cartilages in MRI


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E92-D   No.11   pp.2253-2263
Publication Date: 2009/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E92.D.2253
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biological Engineering
bone segmentation,  singular value decomposition,  Hough transform,  directional derivative filters,  cartilage segmentation,  vector quantization,  edge detection,  thickness map visualization,  

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Quantification of the hip cartilages is clinically important. In this study, we propose an automatic technique for segmentation and visualization of the acetabular and femoral head cartilages based on clinically obtained multi-slice T1-weighted MR data and a hybrid approach. We follow a knowledge based approach by employing several features such as the anatomical shapes of the hip femoral and acetabular cartilages and corresponding image intensities. We estimate the center of the femoral head by a Hough transform and then automatically select the volume of interest. We then automatically segment the hip bones by a self-adaptive vector quantization technique. Next, we localize the articular central line by a modified canny edge detector based on the first and second derivative filters along the radial lines originated from the femoral head center and anatomical constraint. We then roughly segment the acetabular and femoral head cartilages using derivative images obtained in the previous step and a top-hat filter. Final masks of the acetabular and femoral head cartilages are automatically performed by employing the rough results, the estimated articular center line and the anatomical knowledge. Next, we generate a thickness map for each cartilage in the radial direction based on a Euclidian distance. Three dimensional pelvic bones, acetabular and femoral cartilages and corresponding thicknesses are overlaid and visualized. The techniques have been implemented in C++ and MATLAB environment. We have evaluated and clarified the usefulness of the proposed techniques in the presence of 40 clinical hips multi-slice MR images.