A Knowledge-Based Modality-Independent Technique for Concurrent Thigh Muscle Segmentation: Applicable to CT and MR Images

Abstract

The mass of the lower extremity muscles is a clinically significant metric. Manual segmentation of these muscles is a time-consuming task. Most of the segmentation methods for the thigh muscles are based on statistical models and atlases which need manually segmented datasets. The goal of this work is an automatic segmentation of the thigh muscles with only one initial segmented slice. A new automatic method is proposed for concurrent individual thigh muscles segmentation using a hybrid level set method and anatomical information of the muscles. In the proposed method, the muscle regions are extracted by the Fast and Robust Fuzzy C-Means Clustering (FRFCM) method, and then a contour is determined for each muscle which changes according to the muscle shape variation through its length. The anatomical information is used to control the contours variations and to refine the final boundaries. The method was validated by 22 CT datasets. The average dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of the method for individual muscle segmentation with one and two initial slices were 89.29 ± 2.59 (%) and 91.77 ± 1.87 (%), respectively. Also, the average symmetric surface distances (ASSDs) were 0.93 ± 0.29 mm and 0.64 ± 0.18 mm. Furthermore, applying to ten MRI datasets, the average DSC and ASSD for muscles were 90.9 ± 2.61 (%) and 0.71 ± 0.33 mm, respectively. The quantitative and intuitive results of the proposed method show the effectiveness of this method in segmentation of large and small muscles in CT and MR images. The consumed computation time is lower than the previous works, and this method does not need any training datasets.

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Acknowledgment

The authors would like to sincerely acknowledge the valuable comments and supports of Professor Yoshinobu Sato and Dr. Yoshito Otake, both from Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), Japan, throughout this research.

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Correspondence to Malihe Molaie.

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Molaie, M., Zoroofi, R.A. A Knowledge-Based Modality-Independent Technique for Concurrent Thigh Muscle Segmentation: Applicable to CT and MR Images. J Digit Imaging (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10278-020-00354-w

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Keywords

  • Thigh muscle segmentation
  • Knowledge-based level set
  • FRFCM
  • MRI
  • Multi-slice CT images