Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2010

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Johnson, Hans J

First Committee Member

Christensen, Gary E

Second Committee Member

Magnotta, Vincent A


Medical imaging technologies such as MRI, CT, PET, etc. enable the use of higher resolution 3D digital image data for research and clinical treatment. The new technologies provide improved spatial resolution at the cost of increased data processing time. Manual identification of anatomical landmarks is still a common practice in many neuroimaging and other medical imaging applications but it is labor-intensive, subjective, and suffers from intra-/inter- rater inconsistency.

This work explored one way of estimating a landmark constellation automatically, consistently, and efficiently. The proposed method demonstrated a successful application on how to effectively utilize image processing in tackling clinical challenges. It is shown that the cooperation of spatial localization using linear model prediction with evolutionary principal components and local search estimation using statistical shape models is capable of effectively extracting important landmark detection information from both morphometric relationships of landmarks and consistent intensity distribution of images. It is accurate (compared to 1.6 mm root mean squared errors of manual labeling of brain landmarks), consistent, reliable in predicting many salient midbrain point landmarks such as ac, pc, MPJ, etc. in a longitudinal, multisubject environment, and throughout large datasets with different modalities and image information such as orientation, spacing, and origin. The framework of linear model estimation method using evolutionary principal components and the idea of local search using statistical shape models are generalized to the detection task for arbitrary number of landmarks in other organs, creatures, or even any other physical objects in the world as long as the landmarks present intensity consistency and satisfy regularity in spatial organization.


BRAINS Constellation Detector, evolutionary principal component, landmark constellation detection, large multisite imaging study, medical image processing, statistical shape model


vii, 97 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-97).


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Copyright © 2010 Wei Lu