Automatic detection of left ventricle myocardium is essential to subsequent cardiac image registration and tissue segmentation. However, it is considered challenging mainly because of the complex and varying shape of the myocardium and surrounding tissues across slices and phases. In this study, a hybrid model is proposed to detect myocardium in cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) images combining region proposal and deep feature classification and regression. The model firstly generates candidate regions using new structural similarity-enhanced supervoxel over-segmentation plus hierarchical clustering. Then it adopts a deep stacked sparse autoencoder (SSAE) network to learn the discriminative deep feature to represent the regions. Finally, the features are fed to train a novel nonlinear within-class neighborhood preserved soft margin support vector (C
-SVC) classifier and multiple-output support vector (
-SVR) regressor for refining the location of myocardium. To improve the stability and generalization, the model also takes hard negative sample mining strategy to fine-tune the SSAE and the classifier. The proposed model with impacts of different components were extensively evaluated and compared to related methods on public cardiac data set. Experimental results verified the effectiveness of proposed integrated components, and demonstrated that it was robust in myocardium localization and outperformed the state-of-the-art methods in terms of typical metrics. This study would be beneficial in some cardiac image processing such as region-of-interest cropping and left ventricle volume measurement.
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