Volumetric brain tumour detection from MRI using visual saliency

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title



Medical image processing has become a major player in the world of automatic tumour region detection and is tantamount to the incipient stages of computer aided design. Saliency detection is a crucial application of medical image processing, and serves in its potential aid to medical practitioners by making the affected area stand out in the foreground from the rest of the background image. The algorithm developed here is a new approach to the detection of saliency in a three dimensional multi channel MR image sequence for the glioblastoma multiforme (a form of malignant brain tumour). First we enhance the three channels, FLAIR (Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery), T2 and T1C (contrast enhanced with gadolinium) to generate a pseudo coloured RGB image. This is then converted to the CIE L*a*b* color space. Processing on cubes of sizes k = 4, 8, 16, the L*a*b* 3D image is then compressed into volumetric units; each representing the neighbourhood information of the surrounding 64 voxels for k = 4, 512 voxels for k = 8 and 4096 voxels for k = 16, respectively. The spatial distance of these voxels are then compared along the three major axes to generate the novel 3D saliency map of a 3D image, which unambiguously highlights the tumour region. The algorithm operates along the three major axes to maximise the computation efficiency while minimising loss of valuable 3D information. Thus the 3D multichannel MR image saliency detection algorithm is useful in generating a uniform and logistically correct 3D saliency map with pragmatic applicability in Computer Aided Detection (CADe). Assignment of uniform importance to all three axes proves to be an important factor in volumetric processing, which helps in noise reduction and reduces the possibility of compromising essential information. The effectiveness of the algorithm was evaluated over the BRATS MICCAI 2015 dataset having 274 glioma cases, consisting both of high grade and low grade GBM. The results were compared with that of the 2D saliency detection algorithm taken over the entire sequence of brain data. For all comparisons, the Area Under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) Curve (AUC) has been found to be more than 0.99 ± 0.01 over various tumour types, structures and locations.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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