, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 133–150 | Cite as

Automated Methods for Hippocampus Segmentation: the Evolution and a Review of the State of the Art



The segmentation of the hippocampus in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been an important procedure to diagnose and monitor several clinical situations. The precise delineation of the borders of this brain structure makes it possible to obtain a measure of the volume and estimate its shape, which can be used to diagnose some diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and epilepsy. As the manual segmentation procedure in three-dimensional images is highly time consuming and the reproducibility is low, automated methods introduce substantial gains. On the other hand, the implementation of those methods is a challenge because of the low contrast of this structure in relation to the neighboring areas of the brain. Within this context, this research presents a review of the evolution of automatized methods for the segmentation of the hippocampus in MRI. Many proposed methods for segmentation of the hippocampus have been published in leading journals in the medical image processing area. This paper describes these methods presenting the techniques used and quantitatively comparing the methods based on Dice Similarity Coefficient. Finally, we present an evaluation of those methods considering the degree of user intervention, computational cost, segmentation accuracy and feasibility of application in a clinical routine.


Hippocampus segmentation Magnetic resonance imaging Neuroimaging Segmentation methods Medical images Evaluation of segmentation Alzheimer’s disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer SciencePUCRS - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering of School of Engineering; Division of Neuroscience of School of Medicine and Brain Institute of Rio Grande do SulPontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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