An image-processing system for qualitative and quantitative volumetric analysis of brain images

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1998 Sep-Oct;22(5):827-37. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199809000-00030.


In this work, we developed, implemented, and validated an image-processing system for qualitative and quantitative volumetric analysis of brain images. This system allows the visualization and quantitation of global and regional brain volumes. Global volumes were obtained via an automated adaptive Bayesian segmentation technique that labels the brain into white matter, gray matter, and cerebrospinal fluid. Absolute volumetric errors for these compartments ranged between 1 and 3% as indicated by phantom studies. Quantitation of regional brain volumes was performed through normalization and tessellation of segmented brain images into the Talairach space with a 3D elastic warping model. Retest reliability of regional volumes measured in Talairach space indicated errors of < 1.5% for the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital brain regions. Additional regional analysis was performed with an automated hybrid method combining a region-of-interest approach and voxel-based analysis, named Regional Analysis of Volumes Examined in Normalized Space (RAVENS). RAVENS analysis for several subcortical structures showed good agreement with operator-defined volumes. This system has sufficient accuracy for longitudinal imaging data and is currently being used in the analysis of neuroimaging data of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results