Thalamus parcellation using multi-modal feature classification and thalamic nuclei priors

Jeffrey Glaister, Aaron Carass, Joshua V. Stough, Peter A. Calabresi, Jerry L. Prince

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Segmentation of the thalamus and thalamic nuclei is useful to quantify volumetric changes from neurodegenerative diseases. Most thalamus segmentation algorithms only use T1-weighted magnetic resonance images and current thalamic parcellation methods require manual interaction. Smaller nuclei, such as the lateral and medial geniculates, are challenging to locate due to their small size. We propose an automated segmentation algorithm using a set of features derived from diffusion tensor image (DTI) and thalamic nuclei location priors. After extracting features, a hierarchical random forest classifier is trained to locate the thalamus. A second random forest classifies thalamus voxels as belonging to one of six thalamic nuclei classes. The proposed algorithm was tested using a leave-one-out cross validation scheme and compared with state-of-the-art algorithms. The proposed algorithm has a higher Dice score compared to other methods for the whole thalamus and several nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2016
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditorsMartin A. Styner, Elsa D. Angelini, Elsa D. Angelini
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600195
StatePublished - 2016
EventMedical Imaging 2016: Image Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: Mar 1 2016Mar 3 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2016: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Diffiusion MRI
  • Machine learning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Segmentation
  • Thalamus parcellation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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