Segmentation of Q-Ball Images Using Statistical Surface Evolution

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Abstract

In this article, we develop a new method to segment Q-Ball imaging (QBI) data. We first estimate the orientation distribution function (ODF) using a fast and robust spherical harmonic (SH) method. Then, we use a region-based statistical surface evolution on this image of ODFs to efficiently find coherent white matter fiber bundles. We show that our method is appropriate to propagate through regions of fiber crossings and we show that our results outperform state-of-the-art diffusion tensor (DT) imaging segmentation methods, inherently limited by the DT model. Results obtained on synthetic data, on a biological phantom, on real datasets and on all 13 subjects of a public QBI database show that our method is reproducible, automatic and brings a strong added value to diffusion MRI segmentation.