Cardiac Segmentation on Late Gadolinium Enhancement MRI: A Benchmark Study from Multi-Sequence Cardiac MR Segmentation Challenge

Accurate computing, analysis and modeling of the ventricles and myocardium from medical images are important, especially in the diagnosis and treatment management for patients suffering from myocardial infarction (MI). Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) provides an important protocol to visualize MI. However, automated segmentation of LGE CMR is still challenging, due to the indistinguishable boundaries, heterogeneous intensity distribution and complex enhancement patterns of pathological myocardium from LGE CMR. Furthermore, compared with the other sequences LGE CMR images with gold standard labels are particularly limited, which represents another obstacle for developing novel algorithms for automatic segmentation of LGE CMR. This paper presents the selective results from the Multi-Sequence Cardiac MR (MS-CMR) Segmentation challenge, in conjunction with MICCAI 2019. The challenge offered a data set of paired MS-CMR images, including auxiliary CMR sequences as well as LGE CMR, from 45 patients who underwent cardiomyopathy. It was aimed to develop new algorithms, as well as benchmark existing ones for LGE CMR segmentation and compare them objectively. In addition, the paired MS-CMR images could enable algorithms to combine the complementary information from the other sequences for the segmentation of LGE CMR. Nine representative works were selected for evaluation and comparisons, among which three methods are unsupervised methods and the other six are supervised. The results showed that the average performance of the nine methods was comparable to the inter-observer variations. The success of these methods was mainly attributed to the inclusion of the auxiliary sequences from the MS-CMR images, which provide important label information for the training of deep neural networks.

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