Segmentation of Diffuse Brain Lesions

Kovalev V.A.1, Kruggel F.2, Yang F.2

1 Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig,
2 University of California, Irvine

Diffuse lesions of the white matter of the human brain are common pathological findings in magnetic resonance images of elderly subjects. These lesions are typically caused by small vessel diseases (e.g., due to hypertension, diabetes), and related to cognitive decline. Because these lesions are inhomogeneous, unsharp and faint, but show an intensity pattern that is different from the adjacent healthy tissue, a segmentation based on texture properties is proposed here. This method was successfully applied to a set of 116 image datasets of elderly subjects. Quantitative measures for the lesion load are derived that compare well with results from experts that visually rated lesions on a semiquantitative scale. Texture-based segmentation can be considered as a general method for lesion segmentation.

dwmh_example dwmh_result

Left: Diffuse white matter hypointensities (DWMH) as revealed by MR imaging. Right: Cumulative distribution of DWMH in a reference sample of 37 subjects.


Yang F., Kruggel F., Jiang T. (2004) Segmentation of White Matter Lesions. In: Jiang T. (ed.), Medical Imaging and Augmented Reality (Beijing), Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 3150, pp. 113-120. Springer, Singapur.

Kruggel F., Paul J.S., Gertz H.J. (2007) Texture-based Segmentation of Diffuse Lesions of the Brain's White Matter. Neuroimage 39, 987-996.