Cortical surface-based morphometry is based on a semi-automated analysis of structural MRI images. In FreeSurfer, a widespread tool for surface-based analyses, a visual check of gray-white matter borders is followed by the manual placement of control points to drive the topological correction (editing) of segmented data. A novel algorithm combining radial sampling and machine learning is presented for the automated control point search (ACPS).Four data sets with 3 T MRI structural images were used for ACPS validation, including raw data acquired twice in 36 healthy subjects and both raw and FreeSurfer preprocessed data of 125 healthy subjects from public databases. The unedited data from a subgroup of subjects were submitted to manual control point search and editing. The ACPS algorithm was trained on manual control points and tested on new (unseen) unedited data. Cortical thickness (CT) and fractal dimensionality (FD) were estimated in three data sets by reconstructing surfaces from both unedited and edited data, and the effects of editing were compared between manual and automated editing and versus no editing.The ACPS-based editing improved the surface reconstructions similarly to manual editing. Compared to no editing, ACPS-based and manual editing significantly reduced CT and FD in consistent regions across different data sets. Despite the extra processing of control point driven reconstructions, CT and FD estimates were highly reproducible in almost all cortical regions, albeit some problematic regions (e.g. entorhinal cortex) may benefit from different editing.The use of control points improves the surface reconstruction and the ACPS algorithm can automate their search reducing the burden of manual editing.
Neuroimage – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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