Automatic hip cartilage segmentation from 3D MR images using arc-weighted graph searching

Ying Xia, Shekhar S Chandra, Craig Engstrom, Mark W Strudwick, Stuart Crozier, Jurgen Fripp

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate segmentation of hip joint cartilage from magnetic resonance (MR) images offers opportunities for quantitative investigations of pathoanatomical conditions such as osteoarthritis. In this paper, we present a fully automatic scheme for the segmentation of the individual femoral and acetabular cartilage plates in the human hip joint from high-resolution 3D MR images. The developed scheme uses an improved optimal multi-object multi-surface graph search framework with an arc-weighted graph representation that incorporates prior morphological knowledge as a basis for segmentation of the individual femoral and acetabular cartilage plates despite weak or incomplete boundary interfaces. This automated scheme was validated against manual segmentations from 3D true fast imaging with steady-state precession (TrueFISP) MR examinations of the right hip joints in 52 asymptomatic volunteers. Compared with expert manual segmentations of the combined, femoral and acetabular cartilage volumes, the automatic scheme obtained mean (± standard deviation) Dice's similarity coefficients of 0.81 (± 0.03), 0.79 (± 0.03) and 0.72 (± 0.05). The corresponding mean absolute volume difference errors were 8.44% (± 6.36), 9.44% (± 7.19) and 9.05% (± 8.02). The mean absolute differences between manual and automated measures of cartilage thickness for femoral and acetabular cartilage plates were 0.13 mm (± 0.12) and 0.11 mm (± 0.11), respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7245-7266
Number of pages22
JournalPhysics in Medicine & Biology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • automatic segmentation
  • graph search
  • hip cartilage
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • morphological quantification
  • validation

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