Hippocampal Segmentation from Longitudinal Infant Brain MR Images via Classification-Guided Boundary Regression

Yeqin Shao, Jaeil Kim, Yaozong Gao, Qian Wang, Weili Lin, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Hippocampal segmentation from infant brain MR images is indispensable for studying early brain development. However, most of the hippocampal segmentation methods were developed for population-based adult brain images, which are not suitable for longitudinal infant brain images acquired in the first year of life due to the low image contrast and variable development patterns of the hippocampal structure. To address these challenges, we propose a classification-guided boundary regression method to first detect hippocampal boundaries in the longitudinal infant brain images and then use those detected boundaries to guide the deformable model for final segmentation. Specifically, we first employ a classification-guided regression forest to predict the 3D displacements from individual image voxels to the potential hippocampal boundaries. These predicted displacements then determine the boundary maps by a voting strategy. Second, we iteratively enhance the voted hippocampal boundary map by incorporating the spatial context information given the tentative boundary estimation of the current time point. Besides, the longitudinal context information from all time points of the temporal sequence of the same subject (i.e., given their tentative segmentation results) is also utilized to facilitate accurate segmentation. Finally, a deformable model is applied to the enhanced voted boundary maps for achieving the longitudinal hippocampal segmentation. The experiments on infant brain MR images acquired from 2-week-old to 1-year-old show promising hippocampal segmentation results, indicating the applicability of our method in early brain development study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8664424
Pages (from-to)33728-33740
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019


  • classification-guided boundary regression
  • deformable segmentation
  • hippocampal segmentation
  • Infant brain
  • longitudinal MR image


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