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Proceedings Paper

Automated determination of spinal centerline in CT and MR images
Author(s): Darko Štern; Tomaž Vrtovec; Franjo Pernuš; Boštjan Likar
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Paper Abstract

The spinal curvature is one of the most important parameters for the evaluation of spinal deformities. The spinal centerline, represented by the curve that passes through the centers of the vertebral bodies in three-dimensions (3D), allows valid quantitative measurements of the spinal curvature at any location along the spine. We propose a novel automated method for the determination of the spinal centerline in 3D spine images. Our method exploits the anatomical property that the vertebral body walls are cylindrically-shaped and therefore the lines normal to the edges of the vertebral body walls most often intersect in the middle of the vertebral bodies, i.e. at the location of spinal centerline. These points of intersection are first obtained by a novel algorithm that performs a selective search in the directions normal to the edges of the structures and then connected with a parametric curve that represents the spinal centerline in 3D. As the method is based on anatomical properties of the 3D spine anatomy, it is modality-independent, i.e. applicable to images obtained by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR). The proposed method was evaluated on six CT and four MR images (T1- and T2-weighted) of normal spines and on one scoliotic CT spine image. The qualitative and quantitative results for the normal spines show that the spinal centerline can be successfully determined in both CT and MR spine images, while the results for the scoliotic spine indicate that the method may also be used to evaluate pathological curvatures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7259, Medical Imaging 2009: Image Processing, 72594M (27 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.811150
Show Author Affiliations
Darko Štern, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Tomaž Vrtovec, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Franjo Pernuš, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)
Boštjan Likar, Univ. of Ljubljani (Slovenia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7259:
Medical Imaging 2009: Image Processing
Josien P. W. Pluim; Benoit M. Dawant, Editor(s)

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