A novel framework for MR image segmentation and quantification by using MedGA

Salvatore Vitabile, Paolo Cazzaniga, Maria Carla Gilardi, Giorgio Russo, Marco S. Nobile, Carmelo Militello, Leonardo Rundo, Andrea Tangherloni, Daniela Besozzi, Giancarlo Mauri

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

21 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Image segmentation represents one of the most challenging issues in medical image analysis to distinguish among different adjacent tissues in a body part. In this context, appropriate image pre-processing tools can improve the result accuracy achieved by computer-assisted segmentation methods. Taking into consideration images with a bimodal intensity distribution, image binarization can be used to classify the input pictorial data into two classes, given a threshold intensity value. Unfortunately, adaptive thresholding techniques for two-class segmentation work properly only for images characterized by bimodal histograms. We aim at overcoming these limitations and automatically determining a suitable optimal threshold for bimodal Magnetic Resonance (MR) images, by designing an intelligent image analysis framework tailored to effectively assist the physicians during their decision-making tasks. Methods: In this work, we present a novel evolutionary framework for image enhancement, automatic global thresholding, and segmentation, which is here applied to different clinical scenarios involving bimodal MR image analysis: (i) uterine fibroid segmentation in MR guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery, and (ii) brain metastatic cancer segmentation in neuro-radiosurgery therapy. Our framework exploits MedGA as a pre-processing stage. MedGA is an image enhancement method based on Genetic Algorithms that improves the threshold selection, obtained by the efficient Iterative Optimal Threshold Selection algorithm, between the underlying sub-distributions in a nearly bimodal histogram. Results: The results achieved by the proposed evolutionary framework were quantitatively evaluated, showing that the use of MedGA as a pre-processing stage outperforms the conventional image enhancement methods (i.e., histogram equalization, bi-histogram equalization, Gamma transformation, and sigmoid transformation), in terms of both MR image enhancement and segmentation evaluation metrics. Conclusions: Thanks to this framework, MR image segmentation accuracy is considerably increased, allowing for measurement repeatability in clinical workflows. The proposed computational solution could be well-suited for other clinical contexts requiring MR image analysis and segmentation, aiming at providing useful insights for differential diagnosis and prognosis.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)159-172
Numero di pagine14
RivistaComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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