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Segmentation of the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images


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Berton, Florian, Cheriet, Farida, Miron, Marie-Claude and Laporte, Catherine. 2016. « Segmentation of the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images ». Computers in Biology and Medicine, vol. 72. pp. 201-211.
Compte des citations dans Scopus : 37.

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Spinal ultrasound imaging is emerging as a low-cost, radiation-free alternative to conventional X-ray imaging for the clinical follow-up of patients with scoliosis. Currently, deformity measurement relies almost entirely on manual identification of key vertebral landmarks. However, the interpretation of vertebral ultrasound images is challenging, primarily because acoustic waves are entirely reflected by bone. To alleviate this problem, we propose an algorithm to segment these images into three regions: the spinous process, its acoustic shadow and other tissues. This method consists, first, in the extraction of several image features and the selection of the most relevant ones for the discrimination of the three regions. Then, using this set of features and a LDA classifier, each pixel of the image is classified as belonging to one of the three regions. Finally, the image is segmented by regularizing the pixel-wise classification results to account for some geometrical properties of vertebrae. The feature set was first validated by analyzing the classification results across a learning database. The database contained 107 vertebral ultrasound images acquired with convex and linear probes. Classification rates of 84%, 92% and 91% were achieved for the spinous process, the acoustic shadow and other tissues, respectively. Dice similarity coefficients of 0:72 and 0:88 were obtained respectively for the spinous process and acoustic shadow, confirming that the proposed method accurately segments the spinous process and its acoustic shadow in vertebral ultrasound images. Furthermore, the centroid of the automatically segmented spinous process was located at an average distance of 0:38 mm from that of the manually labeled spinous process, which is on the order of image resolution. This suggests that the proposed method is a promising tool for the measurement of the Spinous Process Angle and, more generally, for assisting ultrasound-based assessment of scoliosis progression.

Item Type: Peer reviewed article published in a journal
Laporte, Catherine
Affiliation: Génie électrique
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 20:06
Last Modified: 01 May 2017 09:10

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