Learning based segmentation of CT brain images: Application to postoperative hydrocephalic scans

Venkateswararao Cherukuri, Peter Ssenyonga, Benjamin C. Warf, Abhaya V. Kulkarni, Vishal Monga, Steven J. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. Segmentation of brain imagery into brain tissue and CSF [before and after surgery, i.e., preoperative (pre-op) versus postoperative (post-op)] plays a crucial role in evaluating surgical treatment. Segmentation of pre-op images is often a relatively straightforward problem and has been well researched. However, segmenting post-op computational tomographic (CT) scans becomes more challenging due to distorted anatomy and subdural hematoma collections pressing on the brain. Most intensity- and feature-based segmentation methods fail to separate subdurals from brain and CSF as subdural geometry varies greatly across different patients and their intensity varies with time. We combat this problem by a learning approach that treats segmentation as supervised classification at the pixel level, i.e., a training set of CT scans with labeled pixel identities is employed. Methods: Our contributions include: 1) a dictionary learning framework that learns class (segment) specific dictionaries that can efficiently represent test samples from the same class while poorly represent corresponding samples from other classes; 2) quantification of associated computation and memory footprint; and 3) a customized training and test procedure for segmenting post-op hydrocephalic CT images. Results: Experiments performed on infant CT brain images acquired from the CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda reveal the success of our method against the state-of-the-art alternatives. We also demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is computationally less burdensome and exhibits a graceful degradation against a number of training samples, enhancing its deployment potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1871-1884
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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