Consistent cortical reconstruction and multi-atlas brain segmentation

Yuankai Huo, Andrew J. Plassard, Aaron Carass, Susan M. Resnick, Dzung L. Pham, Jerry L. Prince, Bennett A. Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whole brain segmentation and cortical surface reconstruction are two essential techniques for investigating the human brain. Spatial inconsistences, which can hinder further integrated analyses of brain structure, can result due to these two tasks typically being conducted independently of each other. FreeSurfer obtains self-consistent whole brain segmentations and cortical surfaces. It starts with subcortical segmentation, then carries out cortical surface reconstruction, and ends with cortical segmentation and labeling. However, this “segmentation to surface to parcellation” strategy has shown limitations in various cohorts such as older populations with large ventricles. In this work, we propose a novel “multi-atlas segmentation to surface” method called Multi-atlas CRUISE (MaCRUISE), which achieves self-consistent whole brain segmentations and cortical surfaces by combining multi-atlas segmentation with the cortical reconstruction method CRUISE. A modification called MaCRUISE+ is designed to perform well when white matter lesions are present. Comparing to the benchmarks CRUISE and FreeSurfer, the surface accuracy of MaCRUISE and MaCRUISE+ is validated using two independent datasets with expertly placed cortical landmarks. A third independent dataset with expertly delineated volumetric labels is employed to compare segmentation performance. Finally, 200 MR volumetric images from an older adult sample are used to assess the robustness of MaCRUISE and FreeSurfer. The advantages of MaCRUISE are: (1) MaCRUISE constructs self-consistent voxelwise segmentations and cortical surfaces, while MaCRUISE+ is robust to white matter pathology. (2) MaCRUISE achieves more accurate whole brain segmentations than independently conducting the multi-atlas segmentation. (3) MaCRUISE is comparable in accuracy to FreeSurfer (when FreeSurfer does not exhibit global failures) while achieving greater robustness across an older adult population. MaCRUISE has been made freely available in open source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Cortical reconstruction
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multi-atlas segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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