Multi-Atlas-Based Segmentation With Local Decision Fusion - Application to Cardiac and Aortic Segmentation in CT Scans

I. IĆĄgum, M. Staring, A. Rutten, M. Prokop, M. Viergever and B. van Ginneken

IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2009;28:1000-1010.

DOI PMID Cited by ~390 Download

A novel atlas-based segmentation approach based on the combination of multiple registrations is presented. Multiple atlases are registered to a target image. To obtain a segmentation of the target, labels of the atlas images are propagated to it. The propagated labels are combined by spatially varying decision fusion weights. These weights are derived from local assessment of the registration success. Furthermore, an atlas selection procedure is proposed that is equivalent to sequential forward selection from statistical pattern recognition theory. The proposed method is compared to three existing atlas-based segmentation approaches, namely 1) single atlas-based segmentation, 2) average-shape atlas-based segmentation, and 3) multi-atlas-based segmentation with averaging as decision fusion. These methods were tested on the segmentation of the heart and the aorta in computed tomography scans of the thorax. The results show that the proposed method outperforms other methods and yields results very close to those of an independent human observer. Moreover, the additional atlas selection step led to a faster segmentation at a comparable performance.