Complex Grey Matter Structure Segmentation in Brains via Deep Learning: Example of the Claustrum

by   Hongwei Li, et al.

Segmentationand parcellation of the brain has been widely performed on brain MRI using atlas-based methods. However, segmentation of the claustrum, a thin and sheet-like structure between insular cortex and putamen has not been amenable to automatized segmentation, thus limiting its investigation in larger imaging cohorts. Recently, deep-learning based approaches have been introduced for automated segmentation of brain structures, yielding great potential to overcome preexisting limitations. In the following, we present a multi-view deep-learning based approach to segment the claustrum in T1-weighted MRI scans. We trained and evaluated the proposed method on 181 manual bilateral claustrum annotations by an expert neuroradiologist serving as reference standard. Cross-validation experiments yielded median volumetric similarity, robust Hausdor? distance and Dice score of 93.3 represents equal or superior segmentation performance compared to human intra-rater reliability. Leave-one-scanner-out evaluation showed good transfer-ability of the algorithm to images from unseen scanners, however at slightly inferior performance. Furthermore, we found that AI-based claustrum segmentation benefits from multi-view information and requires sample sizes of around 75 MRI scans in the training set. In conclusion, the developed algorithm has large potential in independent study cohorts and to facilitate MRI-based research of the human claustrum through automated segmentation. The software and models of our method are made publicly available.


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