Plane Localization in 3-D Fetal Neurosonography for Longitudinal Analysis of the Developing Brain

IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2016 Jul;20(4):1120-8. doi: 10.1109/JBHI.2015.2435651. Epub 2015 May 20.


The parasagittal (PS) plane is a 2-D diagnostic plane used routinely in cranial ultrasonography of the neonatal brain. This paper develops a novel approach to find the PS plane in a 3-D fetal ultrasound scan to allow image-based biomarkers to be tracked from prebirth through the first weeks of postbirth life. We propose an accurate plane-finding solution based on regression forests (RF). The method initially localizes the fetal brain and its midline automatically. The midline on several axial slices is used to detect the midsagittal plane, which is used as a constraint in the proposed RF framework to detect the PS plane. The proposed learning algorithm guides the RF learning method in a novel way by: 1) using informative voxels and voxel informative strength as a weighting within the training stage objective function, and 2) introducing regularization of the RF by proposing a geometrical feature within the training stage. Results on clinical data indicate that the new automated method is more reproducible than manual plane finding obtained by two clinicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Fetus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*