Accurate and robust brain extraction is a critical step in most neuroimaging analysis pipelines. In particular, for the largescale multi-site neuroimaging studies involving a significant number of subjects with diverse age and diagnostic groups, accurate and robust extraction of the brain automatically and consistently is highly desirable. In this paper, we introduce population-specific probability maps to guide the brain extraction of diverse subject groups, including both healthy and diseased adult human populations, both developing and aging human populations, as well as non-human primates. Specifically, the proposed method combines an atlas-based approach, for coarse skull-stripping, with a deformable-surfacebased approach that is guided by local intensity information and population-specific prior information learned from a set of real brain images for more localized refinement. Comprehensive quantitative evaluations were performed on the diverse large-scale populations of ADNI dataset with over 800 subjects (55-90 years of age, multi-site, various diagnosis groups), OASIS dataset with over 400 subjects (18-96 years of age, wide age range, various diagnosis groups), and NIH pediatrics dataset with 150 subjects (5-18 years of age, multi-site, wide age range as a complementary age group to the adult dataset). The results demonstrate that our method consistently yields the best overall results across almost the entire human life span, with only a single set of parameters. To demonstrate its capability to work on non-human primates, the proposed method is further evaluated using a rhesus macaque dataset with 20 subjects. Quantitative comparisons with popularly used state-of-the-art methods, including BET, Two-pass BET, BET-B, BSE, HWA, ROBEX and AFNI, demonstrate that the proposed method performs favorably with superior performance on all testing datasets, indicating its robustness and effectiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)