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Theses Year : 2010

A probabilistic framework for point-based shape modeling in medical image analysis


This thesis enters on the development of a point-based statistical shape model relying on correspondence probabilities in a sound mathematical framework. Further focus lies on the integration of the model into a segmentation method where a novel approach is taken by combining an explicitly represented shape prior with an implicitly represented segmentation contour. In medical image analysis, the notion of shape is recognized as an important feature to distinguish and analyse anatomical structures. The modeling of shape realized by the concept of statistical shape models constitutes a powerful tool to facilitate the solutions to analysis, segmentation and reconstruction problems. A statistical shape model tries to optimally represent a set of segmented shape observations of any given organ via a mean shape and a variability model. A fundamental challenge in doing statistics on shapes lies in the determination of correspondences between the shape observations. The prevailing assumption of one-to-one point correspondences seems arguable due to uncertainties of the shape surface representations as well as the general di fficulty of pinpointing exact correspondences. In this thesis, the following solution to the point correspondence problem is derived: For all point pairs, a correspondence probability is computed which amounts to representing the shape surfaces by Mixtures of Gaussians. This approach allows to formulate the model computation in a generative framework where the shape observations are interpreted as randomly generated by the model. Based on that, the computation of the model is then treated as an optimization problem. An algorithm is proposed to optimize for model parameters and observation parameters through a single maximum a posteriori criterion which leads to a mathematically sound and unified framework. The method is evaluated and validated in a series of experiments on synthetic and real data. To do so, adequate performance measures and metrics are defined based on which the quality of the new model is compared to the qualities of a classical point-based model and of an established surface-based model that both rely on one-to-one correspondences. A segmentation algorithm is developed which employs the a priori shape knowledge inherent in the statistical shape model to constrain the segmentation contour to probable shapes. An implicit segmentation sheme is chosen instead of an explicit one, which is beneficial regarding topological exibility and implementational issues. The mathematically sound probabilistic shape model enables the challenging integration of an explicit shape prior into an implicit segmentation scheme in an elegant formulation. A maximum a posteriori estimation is developed of a level set function whose zero level set best separates the organ from the background under a shape constraint introduced by the model. This leads to an energy functional which is minimized with respect to the level set using an Euler-Lagrangian equation. Since both the model and the implicitly defined contour are well suited to represent multi-object shapes, an extension of the algorithm to multi-object segmentation is developed which is integrated into the same probabilistic framework. The novel method is evaluated on kidney and hip joint segmentation.
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Dates and versions

tel-00844717 , version 1 (15-07-2013)


  • HAL Id : tel-00844717 , version 1


Heike Hufnagel. A probabilistic framework for point-based shape modeling in medical image analysis. Medical Imaging. universität Lübeck, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-00844717⟩


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