Fully automatic identification of AC and PC landmarks on brain MRI using scene analysis

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 1997 Oct;16(5):610-6. doi: 10.1109/42.640751.


We describe a method for identification of brain structures from MRI data sets. The bulk of the paper concerns an automatic system for finding the anterior and posterior commissures [(AC) and (PC)] in the midsagittal plane. These landmarks are key for the definition of the Talairach space, commonly used in stereotactic neurosurgery, in the definition of common coordinate systems for the pooling of functional positron emission tomography (PET) images and for neuroanatomy studies. The process works according to a step-by-step procedure: it first analyzes the skull limits. A grey-level histogram is then calculated and allows an automated selection of thresholds. Then, the interhemispheric plane is detected. Following an advanced scene analysis in the midsagittal plane for anatomical structures, the AC and the PC are identified. Experimentally, with a set of 200 patients, the process never failed. Its performances and limits are comparable to that of neuroanatomy experts. Those results are due to a high degree of robustness at each step of the program.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / surgery
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Observer Variation
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skull / anatomy & histology
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed