Localization and Segmentation of 3D Intervertebral Discs in MR Images by Data Driven Estimation

Chen, Cheng; Belavy, Daniel; Yu, Weimin; Chu, Chengwen; Armbrecht, Gabriele; Bansmann, Martin; Felsenberg, Dieter; Zheng, Guoyan (2015). Localization and Segmentation of 3D Intervertebral Discs in MR Images by Data Driven Estimation. IEEE transactions on medical imaging, 34(8), pp. 1719-1729. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE 10.1109/TMI.2015.2403285

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This paper addresses the problem of fully-automatic localization and segmentation of 3D intervertebral discs (IVDs) from MR images. Our method contains two steps, where we first localize the center of each IVD, and then segment IVDs by classifying image pixels around each disc center as foreground (disc) or background. The disc localization is done by estimating the image displacements from a set of randomly sampled 3D image patches to the disc center. The image displacements are
estimated by jointly optimizing the training and test displacement values in a data-driven way, where we take into consideration both the training data and the geometric constraint on the test image. After the disc centers are localized, we segment the discs by classifying image pixels around disc centers as background
or foreground. The classification is done in a similar data-driven approach as we used for localization, but in this segmentation case we are aiming to estimate the foreground/background probability of each pixel instead of the image displacements. In addition, an extra neighborhood smooth constraint is introduced to enforce
the local smoothness of the label field. Our method is validated on 3D T2-weighted turbo spin echo MR images of 35 patients from two different studies. Experiments show that compared to state of the art, our method achieves better or comparable results. Specifically, we achieve for localization a mean error of 1.6-2.0
mm, and for segmentation a mean Dice metric of 85%-88% and a mean surface distance of 1.3-1.4 mm.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Chen, Cheng, Yu, Weimin, Chu, Chengwen, Zheng, Guoyan


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE




Guoyan Zheng

Date Deposited:

05 May 2015 14:16

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:46

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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