Recent Patents in Signal Processing (January 2018) - MR/CT data segmentation

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Recent Patents in Signal Processing (January 2018) - MR/CT data segmentation

By: 
Csaba Benedek

For our January 2018 issue, we cover recent patents granted in the area of applications of medical MR or CT data segmentation.

The invention no. 9,659,370 relates to a method for segmenting MR Dixon image data. A processor and a computer program product are also disclosed for use in connection with the method. The invention finds application in the MR imaging field in general and more specifically may be used in the generation of an attenuation map to correct for attenuation by cortical bone during the reconstruction of PET images. In the method, a surface mesh is adapted to a region of interest by: for each mesh element in the surface mesh: selecting a water target position based on a water image feature response in the MR Dixon water image; selecting a fat target position based on a fat image feature response in the MR Dixon fat image; and displacing each mesh element from its current position to a new position based on both its water target position and its corresponding fat target position.

In patent no. 9,589,361 a method for automatic segmentation of intra-cochlear anatomy of a patient is presented. The patient has an implanted ear and a normal contralateral ear. At least one computed tomography (CT) image is obtained to generate a first image corresponding to the normal contralateral ear and a second image corresponding to the implanted ear. Intra-cochlear surfaces of at least one first structure of interest (SOI) of the normal contralateral ear in the first image are segmented using at least one active shape model (ASM). Next, the segmented intra-cochlear surfaces in the first image is projected to the second image using a transformation function, thereby obtaining projected segmented intra-cochlear surfaces for the implanted ear in the second image.

In patent no. 9,530,206 an apparatus and method for performing automatic 3D image segmentation and reconstruction of organ structures, which is particularly well-suited for use on cortical surfaces is presented. A brain extraction process removes non-brain image elements, then classifies brain tissue as to type in preparation for a cerebrum segmentation process that determines which portions of the image information belong to specific physiological structures. Ventricle filling is performed on the image data based on information from a ventricle extraction process. A reconstruction process follows in which specific surfaces, such as white matter (WM) and grey matter (GM), are reconstructed.

In the invention no. 9,480,439 a new hierarchical methodology is provided having a series of computational steps such as adaptive window creation, 2-D SWT application, masking, and boundary tracing is proposed. The techniques and systems are able to detect and quantify fracture as well as to generate recommendations for decision-making and treatment planning in traumatic pelvic injuries.

As described in patent no. 9,271,652 when generating a magnetic resonance (MR) attenuation map (39), an MR image is segmented to identify a patient's body outline, soft tissue structures, and ambiguous structures comprising bone and/or air. To distinguish between bone and air in the ambiguous structures, a nuclear emission image (e.g., PET) of the same patient or region of interest is segmented. The segmented functional image data is correlated to the segmented MR image data to distinguish between bone and air in the ambiguous structures. Appropriate radiation attenuation values are assigned respectively to identify air voxels and bone voxels in the segmented MR image, and an MR attenuation map is generated from the enhanced segmented MR image, in which ambiguity between air and bone has been resolved. The MR attenuation map is used to generate an attenuation-corrected nuclear image, which is displayed to a user.

Patent no. 9,129,382 presents a method for brain tumor segmentation in multi-parametric 3D MR images. The method comprises: pre-processing an input multi-parametric 3D MR image; classifying each voxel in the pre-processed multi-parametric 3D MR image, determining the probability that the voxel is part of a brain tumor, and obtaining an initial label information for the image segmentation based on the classification probability; constructing a graph based representation for the pre-processed image to be segmented; and generating the segmented brain tumor image using the initial label information and graph based representation. This method tries to exploit the local and global consistency of the image to be segmented for the tumor segmentation and can alleviate partially the performance degradation caused by the inter-subject image variability and insufficient statistical information from training.

Patent no. 9,123,119 presents a method for extracting objects from a computed tomography (CT) image, including: sequentially applying segmentation and carving on volumetric data of the objects in the CT image; and splitting and merging the segmented objects based on homogeneity of the objects in the CT image.

Patent no. 8,938,107 introduces a method for segmenting organs on magnetic resonance (MR) images includes retrieving an MR image of a subject and generating a transformation matrix by segmenting bones on the MR image. An initial organ segmentation of the MR image is generated by registering a combined organ and bone atlas with the MR image using the transformation matrix. The MR image with initial organ segmentation may be shown on a display.

If you have an interesting patent to share when we next feature patents related to medical image segmentation, or if you are especially interested in a signal processing research field that you would want to be highlighted in this section, please send email to Csaba Benedek (benedek.csaba AT sztaki DOT mta DOT hu).

References

Number: 9,659,370
Title: Cortical bone segmentation from MR Dixon data
Inventors: Buerger; Christian (Hamburg, DE), Waechter-Stehle; Irina (Hamburg, DE), Peters; Jochen (Norderstedt, DE), Hansis; Eberhard Sebastian (Hamburg, DE), Weber; Frank Michael (Hamburg, DE), Klinder; Tobias (Uelzen, DE), Renisch; Steffen (Hamburg, DE)
Issued: May 23, 2017
Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Eindhoven, Nl)

Number: 9,589,361
Title: Automatic segmentation of intra-cochlear anatomy in post-implantation CT of unilateral cochlear implant recipients
Inventors: Reda; Fitsum A. (Nashville, TN), Noble; Jack H. (Nashville, TN), Dawant; Benoit (Nashville, TN), Labadie; Robert F. (Nashville, TN)
Issued: March 7, 2017
Assignee: Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Number: 9,530,206
Title: Automatic 3D segmentation and cortical surfaces reconstruction from T1 MRI
Inventors: Liu; Ming-Chang (San Jose, CA), Song; Bi (San Jose, CA)
Issued: December 27, 2016
Assignee: Sony Corporation (Tokyo, JP)

Number: 9,480,439
Title: Segmentation and fracture detection in CT images
Inventors: Wu; Jie (Richmond, VA), Hargraves; Rosalyn Hobson (Richmond, VA), Najarian; Kayvan (Richmond, VA), Belle; Ashwin (Richmond, VA), Ward; Kevin R. (An Arbor, MI)
Issued: November 1, 2016
Assignee: Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA))

Number: 9,271,652
Title: MR segmentation using nuclear emission data in hybrid nuclear imaging/MR
Inventors: Hu; Zhiqiang (Twinsburg, OH), Ojha; Navdeep (Mayfield Village, OH), Tung; Chi-Hua (Aurora, OH)
Issued: March 1, 2016
Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Eindhoven, NL)

Number: 9,129,382
Title: Method and system for brain tumor segmentation in multi-parameter 3D MR images via robust statistic information propagation
Inventors: Fan; Yong (Beijing, CN), Li; Hongming (Beijing, CN)
Issued: September 8, 2015
Assignee: Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, CN)

Number: 9,123,119
Title: Extraction of objects from CT images by sequential segmentation and carving
Inventors: Kwon; Junghyun (Las Vegas, NV), Lee; Jongkyu (Las Vegas, NV), Song; Samuel M. (Las Vegas, NV)
Issued: September 1, 2015
Assignee: TeleSecurity Sciences, Inc. (Las Vegas, NV)

Number: 8,938,107
Title: System and method for automatic segmentation of organs on MR images using a combined organ and bone atlas
Inventors: Osztroluczki; Andras (Szeged, HU), Novak; Gabor (Szeged, HU), Redele; Milan (Varpalota, HU), Fidrich; Marta (Szeged, HU)
Issued: January 20, 2015
Assignee: General Electric Company (Schenectady, NY)

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