Automatic Spine Segmentation using Convolutional Neural Network via Redundant Generation of Class Labels for 3D Spine Modeling
There has been a significant increase from 2010 to 2016 in the number of people suffering from spine problems. The automatic image segmentation of the spine obtained from a computed tomography (CT) image is important for diagnosing spine conditions and for performing surgery with computer-assisted surgery systems. The spine has a complex anatomy that consists of 33 vertebrae, 23 intervertebral disks, the spinal cord, and connecting ribs. As a result, the spinal surgeon is faced with the challenge of needing a robust algorithm to segment and create a model of the spine. In this study, we developed an automatic segmentation method to segment the spine, and we compared our segmentation results with reference segmentations obtained by experts. We developed a fully automatic approach for spine segmentation from CT based on a hybrid method. This method combines the convolutional neural network (CNN) and fully convolutional network (FCN), and utilizes class redundancy as a soft constraint to greatly improve the segmentation results. The proposed method was found to significantly enhance the accuracy of the segmentation results and the system processing time. Our comparison was based on 12 measurements: the Dice coefficient (94%), Jaccard index (93%), volumetric similarity (96%), sensitivity (97%), specificity (99%), precision (over segmentation; 8.3 and under segmentation 2.6), accuracy (99%), Matthews correlation coefficient (0.93), mean surface distance (0.16 mm), Hausdorff distance (7.4 mm), and global consistency error (0.02). We experimented with CT images from 32 patients, and the experimental results demonstrated the efficiency of the proposed method.