Automated, Foot-Bone Registration Using Subdivision-Embedded Atlases for Spatial Mapping of Bone Mineral Density
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- Liu, L., Commean, P.K., Hildebolt, C. et al. J Digit Imaging (2013) 26: 554. doi:10.1007/s10278-012-9524-0
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We present an atlas-based registration method for bones segmented from quantitative computed tomography (QCT) scans, with the goal of mapping their interior bone mineral densities (BMDs) volumetrically. We introduce a new type of deformable atlas, called subdivision-embedded atlas, which consists of a control grid represented as a tetrahedral subdivision mesh and a template bone surface embedded within the grid. Compared to a typical lattice-based deformation grid, the subdivision control grid possesses a relatively small degree of freedom tailored to the shape of the bone, which allows efficient fitting onto subjects. Compared with previous subdivision atlases, the novelty of our atlas lies in the addition of the embedded template surface, which further increases the accuracy of the fitting. Using this new atlas representation, we developed an efficient and fully automated pipeline for registering atlases of 12 tarsal and metatarsal bones to a segmented QCT scan of a human foot. Our evaluation shows that the mapping of BMD enabled by the registration is consistent for bones in repeated scans, and the regional BMD automatically computed from the mapping is not significantly different from expert annotations. The results suggest that our improved subdivision-based registration method is a reliable, efficient way to replace manual labor for measuring regional BMD in foot bones in QCT scans.