CEREBRUM‐7T: Fast and Fully Volumetric Brain Segmentation of 7 Tesla MR Volumes

Human Brain Mapping 2021  ·  Svanera, M., Benini, S., Bontempi, D., Muckli, L ·

Ultra high-field MRI enables sub-millimetre resolution imaging of the human brain, allowing the study of functional circuits of cortical layers at the meso-scale. An essential step in many functional and structural neuroimaging studies is segmentation, the operation of partitioning the MR images in anatomical structures. Despite recent efforts in brain imaging analysis, the literature lacks in accurate and fast methods for segmenting 7 Tesla (7T) brain MRI. We here present CEREBRUM-7T, an optimised end-to-end Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), that allows fully automatic segmentation of a whole 7T T1w MRI brain volume at once, without partitioning the volume, preprocessing, nor aligning it to an atlas. The trained model is able to produce accurate multi-structure segmentation masks on six different classes plus background in only a few seconds. The experimental part, a combination of objective numerical evaluations and subjective analysis, confirms that the proposed solution outperforms the training labels it was trained on, and is suitable for neuroimaging studies, such as layer fMRI studies. Taking advantage of a fine-tuning operation on a reduced set of volumes, we also show how it is possible to effectively apply CEREBRUM-7T to different sites data. Furthermore, we release the code, 7T data, and other materials, including the training labels and the Turing test. For more, please visit: https://rocknroll87q.github.io/cerebrum7t/.

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