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Atlas-driven morphometric analysis has received great attention for studying anatomical shape variation across clinical populations in neuroimaging research as it provides a local coordinate representation for understanding the family of anatomic observations. We present a procedure for generating atlas of subcortical and ventricular structures, including amygdala, hippocampus, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, thalamus, and lateral ventricles, using the large deformation diffeomorphic metric atlas generation algorithm. The atlas was built based on manually labeled volumes of 41 subjects randomly selected from the database of Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS, 10 young adults, 10 middle-age adults, 10 healthy elders, and 11 patients with dementia). We show that the estimated atlas is representative of the population in terms of its metric distance to each individual subject in the population. In the application of detecting shape variations, using the estimated atlas may potentially increase statistical power in identifying group shape difference when comparing with using a single subject atlas. In shape-based classification, the metric distances between subjects and each of within-class estimated atlases construct a shape feature space, which allows for performing a variety of classification algorithms to distinguish anatomies.
Date of Publication: June 2010