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Open AccessArticle

Paraspinal Muscle Segmentation Based on Deep Neural Network

by Haixing Li 1,2,3,4,5,*, Haibo Luo 1,2,4,5 and Yunpeng Liu 1,2,4,5
Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
Institutes for Robotics and Intelligent Manufacturing, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Key Laboratory of Opto-Electronic Information Processing, Chinese Academy of Science, Shenyang 110016, China
The Key Lab of Image Understanding and Computer Vision, Liaoning province, Shenyang 110016, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2650;
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Imaging and Sensing)
The accurate segmentation of the paraspinal muscle in Magnetic Resonance (MR) images is a critical step in the automated analysis of lumbar diseases such as chronic low back pain, disc herniation and lumbar spinal stenosis. However, the automatic segmentation of multifidus and erector spinae has not yet been achieved due to three unusual challenges: (1) the muscle boundary is unclear; (2) the gray histogram distribution of the target overlaps with the background; (3) the intra- and inter-patient shape is variable. We propose to tackle the problem of the automatic segmentation of paravertebral muscles using a deformed U-net consisting of two main modules: the residual module and the feature pyramid attention (FPA) module. The residual module can directly return the gradient while preserving the details of the image to make the model easier to train. The FPA module fuses different scales of context information and provides useful salient features for high-level feature maps. In this paper, 120 cases were used for experiments, which were provided and labeled by the spine surgery department of Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University. The experimental results show that the model can achieve higher predictive capability. The dice coefficient of the multifidus is as high as 0.949, and the Hausdorff distance is 4.62 mm. The dice coefficient of the erector spinae is 0.913 and the Hausdorff distance is 7.89 mm. The work of this paper will contribute to the development of an automatic measurement system for paraspinal muscles, which is of great significance for the treatment of spinal diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: paraspinal muscles; segmentation; U-Net; residual module; FPA module paraspinal muscles; segmentation; U-Net; residual module; FPA module
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Li, H.; Luo, H.; Liu, Y. Paraspinal Muscle Segmentation Based on Deep Neural Network. Sensors 2019, 19, 2650.

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