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Knowledge-based segmentation has been explored significantly in medical imaging. Prior anatomical knowledge can be used to define constraints that can improve performance of segmentation algorithms to physically corrupted and incomplete data. In this paper, the objective is to introduce such knowledge-based constraints while preserving the ability of dealing with local deformations. Toward this end, we propose a variational level set framework that can account for global shape consistency as well as for local deformations. In order to improve performance, the problems of segmentation and tracking of the structure of interest are dealt with simultaneously by introducing the notion of time in the process and looking for a solution that satisfies that prior constraints while being consistent along consecutive frames. Promising experimental results in magnetic resonance and ultrasonic cardiac images demonstrate the potentials of our approach.
Date of Publication: June 2003