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Developing and testing an algorithm for automatic segmentation of the fetal face from three-dimensional ultrasound images

Clark, AE; Biffi, B; Sivera, R; Dall'Asta, A; Fessey, L; Wong, T-L; Paramasivam, G; ... Lees, CC; + view all (2020) Developing and testing an algorithm for automatic segmentation of the fetal face from three-dimensional ultrasound images. Royal Society Open Science , 7 (11) , Article 201342. 10.1098/rsos.201342. Green open access

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Abstract

Fetal craniofacial abnormalities are challenging to detect and diagnose on prenatal ultrasound (US). Image segmentation and computer analysis of three-dimensional US volumes of the fetal face may provide an objective measure to quantify fetal facial features and identify abnormalities. We have developed and tested an atlas-based partially automated facial segmentation algorithm; however, the volumes require additional manual segmentation (MS), which is time and labour intensive and may preclude this method from clinical adoption. These manually refined segmentations can then be used as a reference (atlas) by the partially automated segmentation algorithm to improve algorithmic performance with the aim of eliminating the need for manual refinement and developing a fully automated system. This study assesses the inter- and intra-operator variability of MS and tests an optimized version of our automatic segmentation (AS) algorithm. The manual refinements of 15 fetal faces performed by three operators and repeated by one operator were assessed by Dice score, average symmetrical surface distance and volume difference. The performance of the partially automatic algorithm with difference size atlases was evaluated by Dice score and computational time. Assessment of the manual refinements showed low inter- and intra-operator variability demonstrating its suitability for optimizing the AS algorithm. The algorithm showed improved performance following an increase in the atlas size in turn reducing the need for manual refinement.

Type: Article
Title: Developing and testing an algorithm for automatic segmentation of the fetal face from three-dimensional ultrasound images
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.201342
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201342
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: craniofacial abnormalities, image segmentation, three-dimensional ultrasound
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Childrens Cardiovascular Disease
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Biology and Cancer Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118200
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