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A semiautomated feature extraction algorithm is presented for the extraction and measurement of the hippocampus from volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) head scans. This algorithm makes use of elements of both deformable model and region growing techniques and allows incorporation of a priori operator knowledge of hippocampal location and shape. Experimental results indicate that the algorithm is able to estimate hippocampal volume and asymmetry with an accuracy which approaches that of laborious manual outlining techniques.