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Morphology-Based Individual Vertebrae Classification

Eslam Mohammed 1, 2 Di Meng 1, 2 Sergi Pujades 1, 2
2 MORPHEO - Capture and Analysis of Shapes in Motion
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology
Abstract : The human spine is composed, in non-pathological cases, of 24 vertebrae. Most vertebrae are morphologically distinct from the others, such as C1 (Atlas) or C2 (Axis), but some are morphologically closer, such as neighboring thoracic or lumbar vertebrae. In this work, we aim at quantifying to which extent the shape of a single vertebra is discriminating. We use a publicly available MICCAI VerSe 2019 Challenge dataset containing individually segmented vertebrae from CT images. We train several variants of a baseline 3D convolutional neural network (CNN) taking a binary volumetric representation of an isolated vertebra as input and regressing the vertebra class. We start by predicting the probability of the vertebrae to belong to each of the 24 classes. Then we study a second approach based on a two-stage aggregated classification which first identifies the anatomic group (cervical, thoracic or lumbar) then uses a group-specific network for the individual classification. Our results show that: i) the shape of an individual vertebra can be used to faithfully identify its group (cervical, thoracic or lumbar), ii) the shape of the cervical and lumbar seems to have enough information for a reliable individual identification, and iii) the thoracic vertebrae seem to have the highest similarity and are the ones where the network is confused the most. Future work will study if other representations (such as meshes or pointclouds) obtain similar results, i.e. does the representation have an impact in the prediction accuracy?
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Eslam Mohammed, Di Meng, Sergi Pujades. Morphology-Based Individual Vertebrae Classification. Shape in Medical Imaging. ShapeMI 2020, 12474, Springer, pp.134-144, 2020, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-61056-2_11⟩. ⟨hal-02983894⟩

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