Statistical Shape Model of the Temporal Bone Using Segmentation Propagation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis Automated image registration techniques can successfully determine anatomical variation in human temporal bones with statistical shape modeling. Background There is a lack of knowledge about inter-patient anatomical variation in the temporal bone. Statistical shape models (SSMs) provide a powerful method for quantifying variation of anatomical structures in medical images but are time-intensive to manually develop. This study presents SSMs of temporal bone anatomy using automated image-registration techniques. Methods Fifty-three cone-beam temporal bone CTs were included for SSM generation. The malleus, incus, stapes, bony labyrinth, and facial nerve were automatically segmented using 3D Slicer and a template-based segmentation propagation technique. Segmentations were then used to construct SSMs using MATLAB. The first three principal components of each SSM were analyzed to describe shape variation. Results Principal component analysis of middle and inner ear structures revealed novel modes of anatomical variation. The first three principal components for the malleus represented variability in manubrium length (mean: 4.47 mm; ±2-SDs: 4.03-5.03 mm) and rotation about its long axis (±2-SDs: -1.6° to 1.8° posteriorly). The facial nerve exhibits variability in first and second genu angles. The bony labyrinth varies in the angle between the posterior and superior canals (mean: 88.9°; ±2-SDs: 83.7°-95.7°) and cochlear orientation (±2-SDs: -4.0° to 3.0° anterolaterally). Conclusions SSMs of temporal bone anatomy can inform surgeons on clinically relevant inter-patient variability. Anatomical variation elucidated by these models can provide novel insight into function and pathophysiology. These models also allow further investigation of anatomical variation based on age, BMI, sex, and geographical location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E679-E687
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Segmentation propagation
  • Statistical shape model
  • Temporal bone
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Statistical Shape Model of the Temporal Bone Using Segmentation Propagation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this