It is widely known that the optimization of imaging systems based on objective, task-based measures of image quality via computer-simulation requires the use of a stochastic object model (SOM). However, the development of computationally tractable SOMs that can accurately model the statistical variations in human anatomy within a specified ensemble of patients remains a challenging task. Previously reported numerical anatomic models lack the ability to accurately model inter-patient and inter-organ variations in human anatomy among a broad patient population, mainly because they are established on image data corresponding to a few of patients and individual anatomic organs. This may introduce phantom-specific bias into computer-simulation studies, where the study result is heavily dependent on which phantom is used. In certain applications, however, databases of high-quality volumetric images and organ contours are available that can facilitate this SOM development. In this work, a novel and tractable methodology for learning a SOM and generating numerical phantoms from a set of volumetric training images is developed. The proposed methodology learns geometric attribute distributions (GAD) of human anatomic organs from a broad patient population, which characterize both centroid relationships between neighboring organs and anatomic shape similarity of individual organs among patients. By randomly sampling the learned centroid and shape GADs with the constraints of the respective principal attribute variations learned from the training data, an ensemble of stochastic objects can be created. The randomness in organ shape and position reflects the learned variability of human anatomy. To demonstrate the methodology, a SOM of an adult male pelvis is computed and examples of corresponding numerical phantoms are created.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging