Purpose: To adapt the so-called nonlocal means filter to deal with magnetic resonance (MR) images with spatially varying noise levels (for both Gaussian and Rician distributed noise). Materials and Methods:Most filtering techniques assume an equal noise distribution across the image. When this assumption is not met, the resulting filtering becomes suboptimal. This is the case of MR images with spatially varying noise levels, such as those obtained by parallel imaging (sensitivity-encoded), intensity inhomogeneity-corrected images, or surface coil-based acquisitions. We propose a new method where information regarding the local image noise level is used to adjust the amount of denoising strength of the filter. Such information is automatically obtained from the images using a new local noise estimation method.Results: The proposed method was validated and compared with the standard nonlocal means filter on simulated and real MRI data showing an improved performance in all cases. Conclusion:The new noise-adaptive method was demonstrated to outperform the standard filter when spatially varying noise is present in the images.
The amount of medical image data produced in clinical and research settings is rapidly growing resulting in vast amount of data to analyze. Automatic and reliable quantitative analysis tools, including segmentation, allow to analyze brain development and to understand specific patterns of many neurological diseases. This field has recently experienced many advances with successful techniques based on non-linear warping and label fusion. In this work we present a novel and fully automatic pipeline for volumetric brain analysis based on multi-atlas label fusion technology that is able to provide accurate volumetric information at different levels of detail in a short time. This method is available through the volBrain online web interface (http://volbrain.upv.es), which is publically and freely accessible to the scientific community. Our new framework has been compared with current state-of-the-art methods showing very competitive results.
-Brain extraction is an important step in the analysis of brain images. The variability in brain morphology and the difference in intensity characteristics due to imaging sequences make the development of a general purpose brain extraction algorithm challenging. To address this issue, we propose a new robust method (BEaST) dedicated to produce consistent and accurate brain extraction. This method is based on nonlocal segmentation embedded in a multi-resolution framework. A library of 80 priors is semi-automatically constructed from the NIH-sponsored MRI study of normal brain development, the International Consortium for Brain Mapping, and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative databases.In testing, a mean Dice similarity coefficient of 0.9834±0.0053 was obtained when performing leave-one-out cross validation selecting only 20 priors from the library. Validation using the online Segmentation Validation Engine resulted in a top ranking position with a mean Dice coefficient of 0.9781±0.0047. Robustness of BEaST is demonstrated on all baseline ADNI data, resulting in a very low failure rate. The segmentation accuracy of the method is better than two widely used publicly available methods and recent state-of-the-art hybrid approaches. BEaST provides results comparable to a recent label fusion approach, while being 40 times faster and requiring a much smaller library of priors.Keywords: Brain extraction, skull stripping, patch-based segmentation, multi-resolution, MRI, BET ** Data used in the preparation of this article were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database (www.loni.ucla.edu/ADNI). As such, the investigators within the ADNI contributed to the design and implementation of ADNI and/or provided data but did not participate in analysis or writing of this report. IntroductionBrain extraction (or skull stripping) is an important step in many neuroimaging analyses, such as registration, tissue classification, and segmentation. While methods such as the estimation of intensity normalization fields and registration do not require perfect brain masks, other methods such as measuring cortical thickness rely on very accurate brain extraction to work properly. For instance, failure to remove the dura may lead to an overestimation of cortical thickness (van der Kouwe et al., 2008), while removing part of the brain would lead to an underestimation. In cases of incorrect brain extraction, subjects may be excluded from further processing, a potentially expensive consequence for many studies. The solution of manually correcting the brain masks is a labour intensive and time-consuming task that is highly sensitive to inter-and intra-rater variability (Warfield et al., 2004).An accurate brain extraction method should exclude all tissues external to the brain, such as skull, dura, and eyes, without removing any part of the brain. The number of methods proposed to address the brain segmentation problem reflects the importance of accurate and robust brain extraction. During th...
Diffusion Weighted Images (DWI) normally shows a low Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) due to the presence of noise from the measurement process that complicates and biases the estimation of quantitative diffusion parameters. In this paper, a new denoising methodology is proposed that takes into consideration the multicomponent nature of multi-directional DWI datasets such as those employed in diffusion imaging. This new filter reduces random noise in multicomponent DWI by locally shrinking less significant Principal Components using an overcomplete approach. The proposed method is compared with state-of-the-art methods using synthetic and real clinical MR images, showing improved performance in terms of denoising quality and estimation of diffusion parameters.
In Magnetic Resonance Imaging image resolution comes limited by several factors such as hardware or time limitations. In many cases, the acquired images has to be upsampled to match on any specific resolution, in such cases, image interpolation techniques has been traditionally applied. However, traditional interpolation techniques are not able to recover high frequency information of the underlying high resolution data. In this paper, a new reconstruction method is proposed to recover some of this high frequency information by using a data adaptive patch-based regularization in combination with a subsampling coherence constraint. The proposed method has been evaluated on synthetic and real clinical cases and compared with traditional interpolation methods. The proposed method has shown to outperform classical interpolation methods compared.
There is no consensus in literature about lifespan brain maturation and senescence, mainly because previous lifespan studies have been performed on restricted age periods and/or with a limited number of scans, making results instable and their comparison very difficult. Moreover, the use of nonharmonized tools and different volumetric measurements lead to a great discrepancy in reported results. Thanks to the new paradigm of BigData sharing in neuroimaging and the last advances in image processing enabling to process baby as well as elderly scans with the same tool, new insights on brain maturation and aging can be obtained. This study presents brain volume trajectory over the entire lifespan using the largest age range to date (from few months of life to elderly) and one of the largest number of subjects (N = 2,944). First, we found that white matter trajectory based on absolute and normalized volumes follows an inverted U-shape with a maturation peak around middle life. Second, we found that from 1 to 8-10 y there is an absolute gray matter (GM) increase related to body growth followed by a GM decrease. However, when normalized volumes were considered, GM continuously decreases all along the life. Finally, we found that this observation holds for almost all the considered subcortical structures except for amygdala which is rather stable and hippocampus which exhibits an inverted U-shape with a longer maturation period. By revealing the entire brain trajectory picture, a consensus can be drawn since most of the previously discussed discrepancies can be explained. Hum Brain Mapp 38:5501-5518, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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