Keywords: Signed distance fields, pixel-wise regression, left atrial appendage
TL;DR: 3D segmentation results can be improved by guiding the deep network with signed distance fields instead of traditional binary labelmaps.
Abstract: Morphological analysis of the left atrial appendage is an important tool to assess risk of ischemic stroke. Most deep learning approaches for 3D segmentation is guided by binary labelmaps, which results in voxelized segmentations unsuitable for morphological analysis. We propose to use signed distance fields to guide a deep network towards morphologically consistent 3D models. The proposed strategy is evaluated on a synthetic dataset of simple geometries, as well as a set of cardiac computed tomography images containing the left atrial appendage. The proposed method produces smooth surfaces with a closer resemblance to the true surface in terms of segmentation overlap and surface distance.
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