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Title: Supervised learning-based multimodal MRI brain image analysis
Author: Soltaninejad, Mohammadreza
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 3759
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2017
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Medical imaging plays an important role in clinical procedures related to cancer, such as diagnosis, treatment selection, and therapy response evaluation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most popular acquisition modalities which is widely used in brain tumour analysis and can be acquired with different acquisition protocols, e.g. conventional and advanced. Automated segmentation of brain tumours in MR images is a difficult task due to their high variation in size, shape and appearance. Although many studies have been conducted, it still remains a challenging task and improving accuracy of tumour segmentation is an ongoing field. The aim of this thesis is to develop a fully automated method for detection and segmentation of the abnormal tissue associated with brain tumour (tumour core and oedema) from multimodal MRI images. In this thesis, firstly, the whole brain tumour is segmented from fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI, which is commonly acquired in clinics. The segmentation is achieved using region-wise classification, in which regions are derived from superpixels. Several image features including intensity-based, Gabor textons, fractal analysis and curvatures are calculated from each superpixel within the entire brain area in FLAIR MRI to ensure a robust classification. Extremely randomised trees (ERT) classifies each superpixel into tumour and non-tumour. Secondly, the method is extended to 3D supervoxel based learning for segmentation and classification of tumour tissue subtypes in multimodal MRI brain images. Supervoxels are generated using the information across the multimodal MRI data set. This is then followed by a random forests (RF) classifier to classify each supervoxel into tumour core, oedema or healthy brain tissue. The information from the advanced protocols of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), i.e. isotropic (p) and anisotropic (q) components is also incorporated to the conventional MRI to improve segmentation accuracy. Thirdly, to further improve the segmentation of tumour tissue subtypes, the machine-learned features from fully convolutional neural network (FCN) are investigated and combined with hand-designed texton features to encode global information and local dependencies into feature representation. The score map with pixel-wise predictions is used as a feature map which is learned from multimodal MRI training dataset using the FCN. The machine-learned features, along with hand-designed texton features are then applied to random forests to classify each MRI image voxel into normal brain tissues and different parts of tumour. The methods are evaluated on two datasets: 1) clinical dataset, and 2) publicly available Multimodal Brain Tumour Image Segmentation Benchmark (BRATS) 2013 and 2017 dataset. The experimental results demonstrate the high detection and segmentation performance of the III single modal (FLAIR) method. The average detection sensitivity, balanced error rate (BER) and the Dice overlap measure for the segmented tumour against the ground truth for the clinical data are 89.48%, 6% and 0.91, respectively; whilst, for the BRATS dataset, the corresponding evaluation results are 88.09%, 6% and 0.88, respectively. The corresponding results for the tumour (including tumour core and oedema) in the case of multimodal MRI method are 86%, 7%, 0.84, for the clinical dataset and 96%, 2% and 0.89 for the BRATS 2013 dataset. The results of the FCN based method show that the application of the RF classifier to multimodal MRI images using machine-learned features based on FCN and hand-designed features based on textons provides promising segmentations. The Dice overlap measure for automatic brain tumor segmentation against ground truth for the BRATS 2013 dataset is 0.88, 0.80 and 0.73 for complete tumor, core and enhancing tumor, respectively, which is competitive to the state-of-the-art methods. The corresponding results for BRATS 2017 dataset are 0.86, 0.78 and 0.66 respectively. The methods demonstrate promising results in the segmentation of brain tumours. This provides a close match to expert delineation across all grades of glioma, leading to a faster and more reproducible method of brain tumour detection and delineation to aid patient management. In the experiments, texton has demonstrated its advantages of providing significant information to distinguish various patterns in both 2D and 3D spaces. The segmentation accuracy has also been largely increased by fusing information from multimodal MRI images. Moreover, a unified framework is present which complementarily integrates hand-designed features with machine-learned features to produce more accurate segmentation. The hand-designed features from shallow network (with designable filters) encode the prior-knowledge and context while the machine-learned features from a deep network (with trainable filters) learn the intrinsic features. Both global and local information are combined using these two types of networks that improve the segmentation accuracy.
Supervisor: Ye, Xujiong ; Lambrou, Tryphon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: F350 Medical Physics