ShapeCut: Bayesian surface estimation using shape-driven graph
A variety of medical image segmentation problems present significant technical challenges, including heterogeneous pixel intensities, noisy/ill-defined boundaries and irregular shapes with high variability. The strategy of estimating optimal segmentations within a statistical framework that combines image data with priors on anatomical structures promises to address some of these technical challenges. However, methods that rely on local optimization techniques and/or local shape penalties (e.g., smoothness) have been proven to be inadequate for many difficult segmentation problems. These challenging segmentation problems can benefit from the inclusion of global shape priors within a maximum-a-posteriori estimation framework, which biases solutions toward an object class of interest. In this paper, we propose a maximum-a-posteriori formulation that relies on a generative image model by incorporating both local and global shape priors. The proposed method relies on graph cuts as well as a new shape parameters estimation that provides a global updates-based optimization strategy. We demonstrate our approach on synthetic datasets as well as on the left atrial wall segmentation from late-gadolinium enhancement MRI, which has been shown to be effective for identifying myocardial fibrosis in the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. Experimental results prove the effectiveness of the proposed approach in terms of the average surface distance between extracted surfaces and the corresponding ground-truth, as well as the clinical efficacy of the method in the identification of fibrosis and scars in the atrial wall.