Integrating edge detection and thresholding approaches to segmenting femora and patellae from magnetic resonance images

Jiann Shu Lee, Yi Nung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Anterior knee pain (AKP) is a common pathological condition. The most obvious problem causing knee pain is the abnormal patellar tracking mechanism. For computerized knee joint analysis, how to successfully segment the knee bones is an import issue. This paper presents a simple while effective algorithm for fully automatic femur and patella segmentation for magnetic resonance (MR) knee images through integrating edge detection and thresholding approaches. Based on consideration of computational complexity and accuracy, we develop a compound approach to segment the MR knee images. The moment preserving thresholding is first utilized to gather the bone-outline information employed to estimate the region of interest (ROI). An ROI based wavelet enhancement is proposed to restrict the contrast improvement only around the bone edges. The restriction makes both the adhesion separation of bone and surrounding tissues and the bone contour conservation become possible and avoid harsh thresholding resulting from the global based wavelet enhancement. Cooperating with the morphology operation, stable initial guess of the bone regions can be achieved. To overwhelm the main drawback of the existing edge based segmentation methods, i.e. the necessity of complicated post-processing, a new approach - FLoG is proposed to provide a feasible solution. It converts the edge detection results using LoG into a region-based format through the flow fill operation. The developed onion-growing algorithm can properly combine the initial guess of bone regions with the FLoG outputs in an efficient way. The experimental study shows our method is superior to the conventional ones in meeting the requirement of physicians. This is because our method can perform well in dealing with the tougher conditions, i.e. the partial volume and the soft tissue adhesion conditions. Because of the integration of the thresholding approach with the FLoG edge detector, our algorithm is even robust to unsatisfactory imaging conditions. Hence, our method lends itself to assisting the clinical diagnosis of knee functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb 25

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating edge detection and thresholding approaches to segmenting femora and patellae from magnetic resonance images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this