Automated Measurement of Midline Shift in Brain CT Images and its Application in Computer-Aided Medical Decision Making

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Wenan, Chen
CT Image; Midline Shift; Decision Making; Medical image processing; Computer Sciences; Physical Sciences and Mathematics
thesis / dissertation description
The severity of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is known to be characterized by the shift of the middle line in brain as the ventricular system often changes in size and position, depending on the location of the original injury. In this thesis, the focus is given to processing of the CT (Computer Tomography) brain images to automatically calculate midline shift in pathological cases and use it to predict Intracranial Pressure (ICP). The midline shift measurement can be divided into three steps. First the ideal midline of the brain, i.e., the midline before injury, is found via a hierarchical search based on skull symmetry and tissue features. Second, the ventricular system is segmented from the brain CT slices. Third, the actual midline is estimated from the deformed ventricles by shape matching method. The horizontal shift in the ventricles is then calculated based on the ideal midline and the actual midline in TBI CT images. The proposed method presents accurate detection of the ideal midline using anatomical features in the skull, accurate segmentation of ventricles for actual midline estimation using the information of anatomical features with a spatial template derived from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and an accurate estimation of the actual midline based on the robust proposed multiple regions shape matching algorithm. After the midline shift is successively measured, features including midline shift, texture information of CT images, as well as other demographic information are used to predict ICP. Machine learning algorithms are used to model the relation between the ICP and the extracted features. By using systematic feature selection and parameter selection of the learning model, promising results on ICP prediction are achieved. The prediction results also indicate the reliability of the proposed midline shift estimation.