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In many medical imaging applications, due to the limited field of view of imaging devices, acquired images often include only a part of a structure. In such situations, it is impossible to guarantee that the images will contain exactly the same physical extent of the structure at different scans, which leads to difficulties in registration and in many other tasks, such as the analysis of the morphology, architecture, and kinematics of the structures. To facilitate such analysis, we developed a general method, referred to as iso-shaping, that generates structures of the same shape from segmented image sequences. The basis for this method is to automatically find a set of key points, called shape centers, in the segmented partial anatomic structure such that these points are present in all images and that they represent the same physical location in the object, and then trim the structure using these points as reference. The application area considered here is the analysis of the morphology, architecture, and kinematics of the joints of the foot from magnetic resonance images acquired at different joint positions and load conditions. The accuracy of the method is analyzed by utilizing ten data sets for iso-shaping the tibia and the fibula via four evaluative experiments. The analysis indicates that iso-shaping produces results as predicted by the theoretical framework.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2004