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Automated extraction and variability analysis of sulcal neuroanatomy

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6 Author(s)
Le Goualher, G. ; Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurg., McGill Univ., Montreal, Que., Canada ; Procyk, E. ; Collins, D.L. ; Venugopal, R.
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Systematic mapping of the variability in cortical sulcal anatomy is an area of increasing interest which presents numerous methodological challenges. To address these issues, the authors have implemented sulcal extraction and assisted labeling (SEAL) to automatically extract the two-dimensional (2-D) surface ribbons that represent the median axis of cerebral sulci and to neuroanatomically label these entities. To encode the extracted three-dimensional (3-D) cortical sulcal schematic topography (CSST) the authors define a relational graph structure composed of two main features: vertices (representing sulci) and arcs (representing the relationships between sulci). Vertices contain a parametric representation of the surface ribbon buried within the sulcus. Points on this surface are expressed in stereotaxic coordinates (i.e., with respect to a standardized brain coordinate system). For each of these vertices, the authors store length, depth, and orientation as well as anatomical attributes (e.g., hemisphere, lobe, sulcus type, etc.). Each are stores the 3-D location of the junction between sulci as well as a list of its connecting sulci. Sulcal labeling is performed semiautomatically by selecting a sulcal entity in the CSST and selecting from a menu of candidate sulcus names. In order to help the user in the labeling task, the menu is restricted to the most likely candidates by using priors for the expected sulcal spatial distribution. These priors, i.e., sulcal probabilistic maps, were created from the spatial distribution of 34 sulci traced manually on 36 different subjects. Given these spatial probability maps, the user is provided with the likelihood that the selected entity belongs to a particular sulcus. The cortical structure representation obtained by SEAL is suitable to extract statistical information about both the spatial and the structural composition of the cerebral cortical topography. This methodology allows for the iterative construction of a successiv- - ely more complete statistical models of the cerebral topography containing spatial distributions of the most important structures, their morphometrics, and their structural components.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )