AUTHORS: Ciller C, De Zanet S, Rüegsegger MB, Pica A, Sznitman R, Thiran JP, Maeder P, Munier FL, Kowal JH, Bach Cuadra M

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 92(4): 794-802, July 2015



Proper delineation of ocular anatomy in 3-dimensional (3D) imaging is a big challenge, particularly when developing treatment plans for ocular diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is presently used in clinical practice for diagnosis confirmation and treatment planning for treatment of retinoblastoma in infants, where it serves as a source of information, complementary to the fundus or ultrasonographic imaging. Here we present a framework to fully automatically segment the eye anatomy for MRI based on 3D active shape models (ASM), and we validate the results and present a proof of concept to automatically segment pathological eyes.


Manual and automatic segmentation were performed in 24 images of healthy children’s eyes (3.29 ± 2.15 years of age). Imaging was performed using a 3-T MRI scanner. The ASM consists of the lens, the vitreous humor, the sclera, and the cornea. The model was fitted by first automatically detecting the position of the eye center, the lens, and the optic nerve, and then aligning the model and fitting it to the patient. We validated our segmentation method by using a leave-one-out cross-validation. The segmentation results were evaluated by measuring the overlap, using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and the mean distance error.


We obtained a DSC of 94.90 ± 2.12% for the sclera and the cornea, 94.72 ± 1.89% for the vitreous humor, and 85.16 ± 4.91% for the lens. The mean distance error was 0.26 ± 0.09 mm. The entire process took 14 seconds on average per eye.


We provide a reliable and accurate tool that enables clinicians to automatically segment the sclera, the cornea, the vitreous humor, and the lens, using MRI. We additionally present a proof of concept for fully automatically segmenting eye pathology. This tool reduces the time needed for eye shape delineation and thus can help clinicians when planning eye treatment and confirming the extent of the tumor.

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