Sensitivity and reproducibility of a new fast 3D segmentation technique for clinical MR-based brain volumetry in multiple sclerosis

Neuroradiology. 2004 Nov;46(11):906-15. doi: 10.1007/s00234-004-1282-3. Epub 2004 Nov 5.


Fast, reliable and easy-to-use methods to quantify brain atrophy are of increasing importance in clinical studies on neuro-degenerative diseases. Here, ILAB 4, a new volumetry software that uses a fast semi-automated 3D segmentation of thin-slice T1-weighted 3D MR images based on a modified watershed transform and an automatic histogram analysis was evaluated. It provides the cerebral volumes: whole brain, white matter, gray matter and intracranial cavity. Inter- and intra-rater reliability and scan-rescan reproducibility were excellent in measuring whole brain volumes (coefficients of variation below 0.5%) of volunteers and patients. However, gray and white matter volumes were more susceptible to image quality. High accuracy of the absolute volume results (+/-5 ml) were shown by phantom and preparation measurements. Analysis times were 6 min for processing of 128 slices. The proposed technique is reliable and highly suitable for quantitative studies of brain atrophy, e.g., in multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software Validation*
  • Time Factors
  • User-Computer Interface