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Technologies 2015, 3(2), 142-161; doi:10.3390/technologies3020142

Automated Segmentation of MS Lesions in MR Images Based on an Information Theoretic Clustering and Contrast Transformations

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yudong Zhang and Zhengchao Dong
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Imaging & Image Processing)
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Abstract

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) plays a significant role in the current characterization and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in radiological imaging. However, early detection of MS lesions from MRI still remains a challenging problem. In the present work, an information theoretic approach to cluster the voxels in MS lesions for automatic segmentation of lesions of various sizes in multi-contrast (T1, T2, PD-weighted) MR images, is applied. For accurate detection of MS lesions of various sizes, the skull-stripped brain data are rescaled and histogram manipulated prior to mapping the multi-contrast data to pseudo-color images. For automated segmentation of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions in multi-contrast MRI, the improved jump method (IJM) clustering method has been enhanced via edge suppression for improved segmentation of white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and MS lesions if present. From this preliminary clustering, a pseudo-color to grayscale conversion is designed to equalize the intensities of the normal brain tissues, leaving the MS lesions as outliers. Binary discrete and 8-bit fuzzy labels are then assigned to segment the MS lesions throughout the full brain. For validation of the proposed method, three brains, with mild, moderate and severe hyperintense MS lesions labeled as ground truth, were selected. The MS lesions of mild, moderate and severe categories were detected with a sensitivity of 80%, and 96%, and 94%, and with the corresponding Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 0.5175, 0.8739, and 0.8266 respectively. The MS lesions can also be clearly visualized in a transparent pseudo-color computer rendered 3D brain. View Full-Text
Keywords: segmentation; unsupervised learning; information theoretic clustering; contrast transformations; magnetic resonance images; multiple sclerosis lesions segmentation; unsupervised learning; information theoretic clustering; contrast transformations; magnetic resonance images; multiple sclerosis lesions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hill, J.; Matlock, K.; Nutter, B.; Mitra, S. Automated Segmentation of MS Lesions in MR Images Based on an Information Theoretic Clustering and Contrast Transformations. Technologies 2015, 3, 142-161.

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