Brain ventricle parcellation using a deep neural network: Application to patients with ventriculomegaly

Muhan Shao, Shuo Han, Aaron Carass, Xiang Li, Ari M. Blitz, Jaehoon Shin, Jerry L. Prince, Lotta M. Ellingsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Numerous brain disorders are associated with ventriculomegaly, including both neuro-degenerative diseases and cerebrospinal fluid disorders. Detailed evaluation of the ventricular system is important for these conditions to help understand the pathogenesis of ventricular enlargement and elucidate novel patterns of ventriculomegaly that can be associated with different diseases. One such disease is normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), a chronic form of hydrocephalus in older adults that causes dementia. Automatic parcellation of the ventricular system into its sub-compartments in patients with ventriculomegaly is quite challenging due to the large variation of the ventricle shape and size. Conventional brain labeling methods are time-consuming and often fail to identify the boundaries of the enlarged ventricles. We propose a modified 3D U-Net method to perform accurate ventricular parcellation, even with grossly enlarged ventricles, from magnetic resonance images (MRIs). We validated our method on a data set of healthy controls as well as a cohort of 95 patients with NPH with mild to severe ventriculomegaly and compared with several state-of-the-art segmentation methods. On the healthy data set, the proposed network achieved mean Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 0.895 ± 0.03 for the ventricular system. On the NPH data set, we achieved mean DSC of 0.973 ± 0.02, which is significantly (p < 0.005) higher than four state-of-the-art segmentation methods we compared with. Furthermore, the typical processing time on CPU-base implementation of the proposed method is 2 min, which is much lower than the several hours required by the other methods. Results indicate that our method provides: 1) highly robust parcellation of the ventricular system that is comparable in accuracy to state-of-the-art methods on healthy controls; 2) greater robustness and significantly more accurate results on cases of ventricular enlargement; and 3) a tool that enables computation of novel imaging biomarkers for dilated ventricular spaces that characterize the ventricular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101871
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2019


  • Convolutional neural networks
  • Enlarged brain ventricles
  • Labeling
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Ventricular system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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