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An algorithm is presented for the fuzzy segmentation of two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) multispectral magnetic resonance (MR) images that have been corrupted by intensity inhomogeneities, also known as shading artifacts. The algorithm is an extension of the 2-D adaptive fuzzy C-means algorithm (2-D AFCM) presented in previous work by the authors. This algorithm models the intensity inhomogeneities as a gain field that causes image intensities to smoothly and slowly vary through the image space. It iteratively adapts to the intensity inhomogeneities and is completely automated. In this paper, the authors fully generalize 2-D AFCM to three-dimensional (3-D) multispectral images. Because of the potential size of 3-D image data, they also describe a new faster multigrid-based algorithm for its implementation. They show, using simulated MR data, that 3-D AFCM yields lower error rates than both the standard fuzzy C-means (FCM) algorithm and two other competing methods, when segmenting corrupted images. Its efficacy is further demonstrated using real 3-D scalar and multispectral MR brain images.
Date of Publication: Sept. 1999