Automatic Kidney Segmentation Using Gaussian Mixture Model on MRI Sequences

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Abstract

Robust kidney segmentation from MR images is a very difficult task due to the especially gray level similarity of adjacent organs, partial volume effects and injection of contrast media. In addition to different image characteristics with different MR scanners, the variations of the kidney shapes, gray levels and positions make the identification and segmentation task even harder. In this paper, we propose an automatic kidney segmentation approach using Gaussian mixture model (GMM) that adapts all parameters according to each MR image dataset to handle all these challenging problems. The efficiency in terms of the segmentation performance is achieved by the estimation of the GMM parameters using the Expectation Maximization (EM) method. The segmentation approach is compared to k-means method. The results show that the model based probabilistic segmentation technique gives better performance for both low contrast images and atypical kidney shapes where several algorithms fail on abdominal MR images.