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Proceedings Paper

Model-based segmentation of the facial nerve and chorda tympani in pediatric CT scans
Author(s): Fitsum A Reda; Jack H. Noble; Alejandro Rivas; Robert F. Labadie; Benoit M. Dawant
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Paper Abstract

In image-guided cochlear implant surgery an electrode array is implanted in the cochlea to treat hearing loss. Access to the cochlea is achieved by drilling from the outer skull to the cochlea through the facial recess, a region bounded by the facial nerve and the chorda tympani. To exploit existing methods for computing automatically safe drilling trajectories, the facial nerve and chorda tympani need to be segmented. The effectiveness of traditional segmentation approaches to achieve this is severely limited because the facial nerve and chorda are small structures (~1 mm and ~0.3 mm in diameter, respectively) and exhibit poor image contrast. We have recently proposed a technique to achieve this task in adult patients, which relies on statistical models of the structures. These models contain intensity and shape information along the central axes of both structures. In this work we use the same method to segment pediatric scans. We show that substantial differences exist between the anatomy of children and the anatomy of adults, which lead to poor segmentation results when an adult model is used to segment a pediatric volume. We have built a new model for pediatric cases and we have applied it to ten scans. A leave-one-out validation experiment was conducted in which manually segmented structures were compared to automatically segmented structures. The maximum segmentation error was 1 mm. This result indicates that accurate segmentation of the facial nerve and chorda in pediatric scans is achievable, thus suggesting that safe drilling trajectories can also be computed automatically.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7962, Medical Imaging 2011: Image Processing, 79622B (11 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.877599
Show Author Affiliations
Fitsum A Reda, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Jack H. Noble, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Alejandro Rivas, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Robert F. Labadie, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Benoit M. Dawant, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7962:
Medical Imaging 2011: Image Processing
Benoit M. Dawant; David R. Haynor, Editor(s)

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