We present a method for automated brain tissue segmentation based on the multi-channel fusion of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. The method is motivated by the evidence that independent tissue segmentation based on DTI parametric images provides complementary information of tissue contrast to the tissue segmentation based on structural MRI data. This has important applications in defining accurate tissue maps when fusing structural data with diffusion data. In the absence of structural data, tissue segmentation based on DTI data provides an alternative means to obtain brain tissue segmentation. Our approach to the tissue segmentation based on DTI data is to classify the brain into two compartments by utilizing the tissue contrast existing in a single channel. Specifically, because the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are more than twice that of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM), we use ADC images to distinguish CSF and non-CSF tissues. Additionally, fractional anisotropy (FA) images are used to separate WM from non-WM tissues, as highly directional white matter structures have much larger fractional anisotropy values. Moreover, other channels to separate tissue are explored, such as eigenvalues of the tensor, relative anisotropy (RA), and volume ratio (VR). We developed an approach based on the Simultaneous Truth and Performance Level Estimation (STAPLE) algorithm that combines these two-class maps to obtain a complete tissue segmentation map of CSF, GM, and WM. Evaluations are provided to demonstrate the performance of our approach. Experimental results of applying this approach to brain tissue segmentation and deformable registration of DTI data and spoiled gradient-echo (SPGR) data are also provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience