Accurate delineation of anatomical structures in the white matter of the human brain is of paramount importance for multiple applications, such as neurosurgical planning, characterization of neurological disorders, and connectomic studies. Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) techniques can provide, in-vivo, a mathematical representation of thousands of fibers composing such anatomical structures, in the form of 3D polylines called streamlines. Given this representation, a task of invaluable interest is known as white matter bundle segmentation, whose aim is to virtually group together streamlines sharing a similar pathway into anatomically meaningful structures, called white matter bundles. Obtaining a good and reliable bundle segmentation is however not trivial, mainly because of the intrinsic complexity of the data. Most of the current methods for bundle segmentation require extensive neuroanatomical knowledge, are time consuming, or are not able to adapt to different data settings. To overcome these limitations, the main goal of this thesis is to develop a new automatic method for accurate white matter bundle segmentation, by exploiting, combining and extending multiple up-to-date supervised learning techniques. The main contribution of the project is the development of a novel streamline-based bundle segmentation method based on binary linear classification, which simultaneously combines information from atlases, bundle geometries, and connectivity patterns. We prove that the proposed method reaches unprecedented quality of segmentation, and that is robust to a multitude of diverse settings, such as when there are differences in bundle size, tracking algorithm, and/or quality of dMRI data. In addition, we show that some of the state-of-the-art bundle segmentation methods are deeply affected by a geometrical property of the shape of the bundles to be segmented, their fractal dimension. Important factors involved in the task of streamline classification are: (i) the need for an effective streamline distance function and (ii) the definition of a proper feature space. To this end, we compare some of the most common streamline distance functions available in the literature and we provide some guidelines on their practical use for the task of supervised bundle segmentation. Moreover, we investigate the possibility to include, in a streamline-based segmentation method, additional information to the typically employed streamline distance measure. Specifically, we provide evidence that considering additional anatomical information regarding the cortical terminations of the streamlines and their proximity to specific Regions of Interest (ROIs) helps to improve the results of bundle segmentation. Lastly, significant attention is paid to reproducibility in neuroscience. Following the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Data Principles, we have integrated our pipelines of analysis into an online open platform devoted to promoting reproducibility of scientific results and to facilitating knowledge discovery.

Supervised Learning for White Matter Bundle Segmentation / Bertò, Giulia. - (2020 Jun 03), pp. 1-160. [10.15168/11572_264971]

Supervised Learning for White Matter Bundle Segmentation

Bertò, Giulia
2020

Abstract

Accurate delineation of anatomical structures in the white matter of the human brain is of paramount importance for multiple applications, such as neurosurgical planning, characterization of neurological disorders, and connectomic studies. Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) techniques can provide, in-vivo, a mathematical representation of thousands of fibers composing such anatomical structures, in the form of 3D polylines called streamlines. Given this representation, a task of invaluable interest is known as white matter bundle segmentation, whose aim is to virtually group together streamlines sharing a similar pathway into anatomically meaningful structures, called white matter bundles. Obtaining a good and reliable bundle segmentation is however not trivial, mainly because of the intrinsic complexity of the data. Most of the current methods for bundle segmentation require extensive neuroanatomical knowledge, are time consuming, or are not able to adapt to different data settings. To overcome these limitations, the main goal of this thesis is to develop a new automatic method for accurate white matter bundle segmentation, by exploiting, combining and extending multiple up-to-date supervised learning techniques. The main contribution of the project is the development of a novel streamline-based bundle segmentation method based on binary linear classification, which simultaneously combines information from atlases, bundle geometries, and connectivity patterns. We prove that the proposed method reaches unprecedented quality of segmentation, and that is robust to a multitude of diverse settings, such as when there are differences in bundle size, tracking algorithm, and/or quality of dMRI data. In addition, we show that some of the state-of-the-art bundle segmentation methods are deeply affected by a geometrical property of the shape of the bundles to be segmented, their fractal dimension. Important factors involved in the task of streamline classification are: (i) the need for an effective streamline distance function and (ii) the definition of a proper feature space. To this end, we compare some of the most common streamline distance functions available in the literature and we provide some guidelines on their practical use for the task of supervised bundle segmentation. Moreover, we investigate the possibility to include, in a streamline-based segmentation method, additional information to the typically employed streamline distance measure. Specifically, we provide evidence that considering additional anatomical information regarding the cortical terminations of the streamlines and their proximity to specific Regions of Interest (ROIs) helps to improve the results of bundle segmentation. Lastly, significant attention is paid to reproducibility in neuroscience. Following the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Data Principles, we have integrated our pipelines of analysis into an online open platform devoted to promoting reproducibility of scientific results and to facilitating knowledge discovery.
XXXII
2018-2019
Ingegneria e scienza dell'Informaz (29/10/12-)
Information and Communication Technology
Avesani, Paolo
Olivetti, Emanuele
no
Inglese
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/264971
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