Brain Volume Estimation Enhancement by Morphological Image Processing Tools

R Zeinali, A Keshtkar, A Zamani, N Gharehaghaji


Background: Volume estimation of brain is important for many neurological applications. It is necessary in measuring brain growth and changes in brain in normal/abnormal patients. Thus, accurate brain volume measurement is very important. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the method of choice for volume quantification due to excellent levels of image resolution and between-tissue contrast. Stereology method is a good method for estimating volume but it requires to segment enough MRI slices and have a good resolution. In this study, it is desired to enhance stereology method for volume estimation of brain using less MRI slices with less resolution.

Methods: In this study, a program for calculating volume using stereology method has been introduced. After morphologic method, dilation was applied and the stereology method enhanced. For the evaluation of this method, we used T1-wighted MR images from digital phantom in BrainWeb which had ground truth.

Results: The volume of 20 normal brain extracted from BrainWeb, was calculated. The volumes of white matter, gray matter and cerebrospinal fluid with given dimension were estimated correctly. Volume calculation from Stereology method in different cases was made. In three cases, Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was measured. Case I with T=5, d=5, Case II with T=10, D=10 and Case III with T=20, d=20 (T=slice thickness, d=resolution as stereology parameters). By comparing these results of two methods, it is obvious that RMSE values for our proposed method are smaller than Stereology method.

Conclusion: Using morphological operation, dilation allows to enhance the estimation volume method, Stereology. In the case with less MRI slices and less test points, this method works much better compared to Stereology method.


Brain Volumetry, Stereology Method, Dilation Operation, MRI, Gray Matter, White Matter, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Brainweb Database

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