Researchers develop method that automatically delimits areas of the brain in medical images

September 19, 2013

A piece of research submitted by the Artificial Intelligence and Approximate Reasoning Group (GIARA) of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre received an award from the European Association of Fuzzy Logic and Soft Computing (EUSFLAT) during its biennial meeting (EUSFLAT 2013) held in Milan last week. The researchers have developed a method that improves the delimitation of tumours in medical images. As they explained, "when the doctor decides where tumour tissue should be separated from healthy tissue, our algorithm ensures that he/she is never going choose the worst option because the best solution is automatically offered."

The work has focussed on the study of obtained by means of . Specifically, they have developed an algorithm to improve the process to segment the images. "By means of segmentation," explained Aránzazu Jurío, "each of the objects that make up the image is separated. Each pixel is analysed so that all the ones sharing the same features are considered to form part of the same object." In the case of medical images, this process is crucial for delimiting tumours where, if we're thinking about areas like those in the brain, three millimetres of difference can mean the difference between a cure or affecting areas controlling speech or vision.

To understand how the algorithm developed by the researchers works, Humberto Bustince drew the following parallel: "Imagine we have the image of a brain by means of magnetic resonance and seven doctors who have to decide how to delimit the . From experience we know that each one of them will separate the tumour differently. Now, with the proposed method, they will automatically be presented with a set of options which, in any case, are always going to improve the choice that the worst of the seven may make. We've succeeding in improving on the worst, we've managed to ensure that even though they may go for the worst option, they will be wrong to the least extent possible."

In real time

Another of the factors that experts in have to contend with is that of time variations, because vary in time and on occasions within a short space of time. "All these algorithms allow application in real time, because what may be useful for an image at a given moment may not be useful after some time," explained Prof Bustince.

In this respect, Aránzazu Jurío stressed that "the algorithm we have developed produces a kind of consensus among the various functions that seek to obtain the best solution. We could say that it takes the process of choosing away from the expert because it is the that automatically selects the function."

"The problem," Daniel Paternain elaborated further, "is that for a specific image there are a number of functions that the expert may use, but if he or she gets the function wrong when doing the segmenting, the result could be devastating. What we tried to solve is this: if he/she gets the function wrong, the result may not be devastating."

Explore further: PET medical image analysis improved in order to optimize radiotherapy treatments

Related Stories

PET medical image analysis improved in order to optimize radiotherapy treatments

June 11, 2013
Elena Prieto-Azkarate, a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and member of the Nuclear Medicine Service of the University College Hospital of Navarre, has implemented 12 ...

Researchers outline non-invasive method for detecting brain tumours by utilizing spectral texture features of MRI

February 25, 2013
Recent statistics showed that five percent of Malaysians have been diagnosed with brain tumours with glioma being the most common type. Radiologists commonly use MRI image sequences to detect glioma clinically by examining ...

Analysis of medical images improved for study of psychotic disorders

May 28, 2013
A team of researchers from the UPNA/NUP-Public University of Navarre has developed new superresolution and segmentation methods for magnetic resonance images so that they can be applied to the structural study of psychosis. ...

Improved image analysis for MRI

July 16, 2012
Reliable, accurate and repeatable analysis of medical images continues to be a challenge in disease treatment. A European research initiative has developed robust and efficient computing techniques for image data interpretation, ...

Identifying Alzheimer's using space software

June 28, 2013
Software for processing satellite pictures taken from space is now helping medical researchers to establish a simple method for wide-scale screening for Alzheimer's disease.

Recommended for you

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

July 20, 2017
Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising ...

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

'Smart' robot technology could give stroke rehab a boost

July 19, 2017
Scientists say they have developed a "smart" robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Engineered liver tissue expands after transplant

July 19, 2017
Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available.

Lunatic Fringe gene plays key role in the renewable brain

July 19, 2017
The discovery that the brain can generate new cells - about 700 new neurons each day - has triggered investigations to uncover how this process is regulated. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Jan and Dan Duncan ...

New animal models for hepatitis C could pave the way for a vaccine

July 19, 2017
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of hepatitis C—a disease that affects nearly 71 million people worldwide, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer if left untreated—it might be worth ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.