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Proceedings Paper

Introducing anisotropic Minkowski functionals and quantitative anisotropy measures for local structure analysis in biomedical imaging
Author(s): Axel Wismüller; Titas De; Eva Lochmüller; Felix Eckstein; Mahesh B. Nagarajan
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Paper Abstract

The ability of Minkowski Functionals to characterize local structure in different biological tissue types has been demonstrated in a variety of medical image processing tasks. We introduce anisotropic Minkowski Functionals (AMFs) as a novel variant that captures the inherent anisotropy of the underlying gray-level structures. To quantify the anisotropy characterized by our approach, we further introduce a method to compute a quantitative measure motivated by a technique utilized in MR diffusion tensor imaging, namely fractional anisotropy. We showcase the applicability of our method in the research context of characterizing the local structure properties of trabecular bone micro-architecture in the proximal femur as visualized on multi-detector CT. To this end, AMFs were computed locally for each pixel of ROIs extracted from the head, neck and trochanter regions. Fractional anisotropy was then used to quantify the local anisotropy of the trabecular structures found in these ROIs and to compare its distribution in different anatomical regions. Our results suggest a significantly greater concentration of anisotropic trabecular structures in the head and neck regions when compared to the trochanter region (p < 10-4). We also evaluated the ability of such AMFs to predict bone strength in the femoral head of proximal femur specimens obtained from 50 donors. Our results suggest that such AMFs, when used in conjunction with multi-regression models, can outperform more conventional features such as BMD in predicting failure load. We conclude that such anisotropic Minkowski Functionals can capture valuable information regarding directional attributes of local structure, which may be useful in a wide scope of biomedical imaging applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8672, Medical Imaging 2013: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 86720I (29 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2007192
Show Author Affiliations
Axel Wismüller, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Titas De, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Eva Lochmüller, Paracelsus Medical Univ. Salzburg (Austria)
Felix Eckstein, Paracelsus Medical Univ. Salzburg (Austria)
Mahesh B. Nagarajan, Univ. of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8672:
Medical Imaging 2013: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
John B. Weaver; Robert C. Molthen, Editor(s)

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