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Learning continuous shape priors from sparse data with neural implicit functions

  • Statistical shape models are an essential tool for various tasks in medical image analysis, including shape generation, reconstruction and classification. Shape models are learned from a population of example shapes, which are typically obtained through segmentation of volumetric medical images. In clinical practice, highly anisotropic volumetric scans with large slice distances are prevalent, e.g., to reduce radiation exposure in CT or image acquisition time in MR imaging. For existing shape modeling approaches, the resolution of the emerging model is limited to the resolution of the training shapes. Therefore, any missing information between slices prohibits existing methods from learning a high-resolution shape prior. We propose a novel shape modeling approach that can be trained on sparse, binary segmentation masks with large slice distances. This is achieved through employing continuous shape representations based on neural implicit functions. After training, our model can reconstruct shapes from various sparse inputs at high target resolutions beyond the resolution of individual training examples. We successfully reconstruct high-resolution shapes from as few as three orthogonal slices. Furthermore, our shape model allows us to embed various sparse segmentation masks into a common, low-dimensional latent space — independent of the acquisition direction, resolution, spacing, and field of view. We show that the emerging latent representation discriminates between healthy and pathological shapes, even when provided with sparse segmentation masks. Lastly, we qualitatively demonstrate that the emerging latent space is smooth and captures characteristic modes of shape variation. We evaluate our shape model on two anatomical structures: the lumbar vertebra and the distal femur, both from publicly available datasets.

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Author:Tamaz Amiranashvili, David Lüdke, Hongwei Bran Li, Stefan Zachow, Bjoern Menze
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Medical Image Analysis
First Page:103099
Year of first publication:2024
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International
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