Spatial intensity prior correction for tissue segmentation in the developing human brain

Sun Hyung Kim, Vladimir Fonov, Joe Piven, John Gilmore, Clement Vachet, Guido Gerig, D. Louis Collins, Martin Styner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The degree of white matter (WM) myelination is rather inhomogeneous across the brain. As a consequence, white matter appears differently across the cortical lobes in MR images acquired during early postnatal development. At 1 year old specifically, the gray/white matter contrast of MR images in prefrontal and temporal lobes is limited and thus tissue segmentation results show commonly reduce accuracy in these lobes. In this novel work, we propose the use of spatial intensity growth maps (IGM) for T1 and T2 weighted image to compensate for local appearance inhomogeneity. The IGM captures expected intensity changes from 1 to 2 years of age, as appearance inhomogeneity is highly reduced by the age of 24 months. For that purpose, we employ MRI data from a large dataset of longitudinal (12 and 24 month old subjects) MR study of Autism. The IGM creation is based on automatically co-registered images at 12 months, corresponding registered 24 months images, and a final registration of all image to a prior average template. In template space, voxelwise correspondence is thus achieved and the IGM is computed as the coefficient of a voxelwise linear regression model between corresponding intensities at 1-year and 2-years. The proposed IGM shows low regression values of 1-10% in GM and CSF regions, as well as in WM regions at advanced stage of myelination at 1-year. However, in the prefrontal and temporal lobe we observed regression values of 20-25%, indicating that the IGM appropriately captures the expected large intensity change in these lobes due to myelination.The IGM is applied to cross-sectional MRI datasets of 1-year old subjects via registration, correction and tissue segmentation of the corrected dataset. We validated our approach in a small study of images with known, manual ground truth segmentations. We furthermore present an EM-like optimization of adapting existing non-optimal prior atlas probability maps to fit known expert rater segmentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Nano to Macro, ISBI'11
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI'11 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2011Apr 2 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
ISSN (Print)1945-7928
ISSN (Electronic)1945-8452


Other2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI'11
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


  • MRI
  • classification
  • expectation maximization (EM) algorithm
  • tissue segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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