IEEE Signal Processing Letters, 20(11): 1034 - 1037, August 2013
In medical imaging, merging automated segmentations obtained from multiple atlases has become a standard practice for improving the accuracy. In this letter, we propose two new fusion methods: “Global Weighted Shape-Based Averaging” (GWSBA) and “Local Weighted Shape-Based Averaging” (LWSBA). These methods extend the well known Shape-Based Averaging (SBA) by additionally incorporating the similarity information between the reference (i.e., atlas) images and the target image to be segmented. We also propose a new spatially-varying similarity-weighted neighborhood prior model, and an edge-preserving smoothness term that can be used with many of the existing fusion methods. We first present our new Markov Random Field (MRF) based fusion framework that models the above mentioned information. The proposed methods are evaluated in the context of segmentation of lymph nodes in the head and neck 3D CT images, and they resulted in more accurate segmentations compared to the existing SBA.