Meniscus segmentation and tear detection in the knee MR images by fuzzy c-means method
OBJECTIVE To validate an automatic scheme for the segmentation and quantitative analysis of the medial meniscus (MM) and lateral meniscus (LM) in magnetic resonance (MR) images of the knee. METHOD We analysed sagittal water-excited double-echo steady-state MR images of the knee from a subset of the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort. The MM and LM were automatically segmented in the MR images based on a deformable model approach. Quantitative parameters including volume, subluxation and tibial-coverage were automatically calculated for comparison (Wilcoxon tests) between knees with variable radiographic osteoarthritis (rOA), medial and lateral joint space narrowing (mJSN, lJSN) and pain. Automatic segmentations and estimated parameters were evaluated for accuracy using manual delineations of the menisci in 88 pathological knee MR examinations at baseline and 12 months time-points. RESULTS The median (95% confidence-interval (CI)) Dice similarity index (DSI) (2 ∗|Auto ∩ Manual|/(|Auto|+|Manual|)∗ 100) between manual and automated segmentations for the MM and LM volumes were 78.3% (75.0-78.7), 83.9% (82.1-83.9) at baseline and 75.3% (72.8-76.9), 83.0% (81.6-83.5) at 12 months. Pearson coefficients between automatic and manual segmentation parameters ranged from r = 0.70 to r = 0.92. MM in rOA/mJSN knees had significantly greater subluxation and smaller tibial-coverage than no-rOA/no-mJSN knees. LM in rOA knees had significantly greater volumes and tibial-coverage than no-rOA knees. CONCLUSION Our automated method successfully segmented the menisci in normal and osteoarthritic knee MR images and detected meaningful morphological differences with respect to rOA and joint space narrowing (JSN). Our approach will facilitate analyses of the menisci in prospective MR cohorts such as the OAI for investigations into pathophysiological changes occurring in early osteoarthritis (OA) development.