The topic of this thesis is automatic analysis of craniofacial images with respect to changes due to growth and surgery, inter-subject variation and intracranial volume estimation. The methods proposed contribute to the knowledge about specific craniofacial anomalies, as well as provide a tool for detailed analyses for clinical and research purposes. Most of the applications in this thesis rely on non-rigid image registration by the means of warping one image into the coordinate system of another image. This warping results in a deformation field that describes the anatomical correspondence between the two images. To elaborate further: a computational atlas of the average anatomy was constructed. Using non-rigid registration, image data from a subject is automatically transformed into the coordinate space of the atlas. In this process, all knowledge built into the atlas is transferred to the subject, thus creating a personalized atlas. The knowledge built into the atlas is e.g. location of anatomical regions and landmarks of importance to surgery planning and evaluation or population studies. With these correspondences, various analyses could be carried out e.g. quantification of growth, inter-subject variation etc. Besides image registration, a volumetric segmentation method using graph cuts was developed and applied for intracranial volume estimation. Graph cut is a fast method for segmentation utilizing a suitable graph. Three different craniofacial anomalies were examined in this thesis: Cleft lip and palate, unicoronal synostosis, and Crouzon syndrome. Using the proposed methods, highly detailed variation was assessed for cleft lip and palate, correspondence between images obtained before and after lip repair was established for cleft lip and palate, the intracranial volume was estimated for infants with unicoronal synostosis, and nally, craniofacial growth patterns were quantied for Crouzon syndrome in a mouse model.
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Paulsen, Rasmus Reinhold, Larsen, Rasmus, Darvann, Tron Andre