TIMER: Tensor Image Morphing for Elastic Registration
We propose a novel diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) registration algorithm, called Tensor Image Morphing for Elastic Registration (TIMER), which leverages the hierarchical guidance of regional distributions and local boundaries, both extracted directly from the tensors. Currently available DTI registration methods generally extract tensor scalar features from each tensor to construct scalar maps. Subsequently, regional integration and other operations such as edge detection are performed to
... performed to extract more features to guide the registration. However, there are two major limitations with these approaches. First, the computed regional features might not reflect the actual regional tensor distributions. Second, by the same token, gradient maps calculated from the tensor-derived scalar feature maps might not represent the actual tissue tensor boundaries. To overcome these limitations, we propose a new approach which extracts regional and edge information directly from a tensor neighborhood. Regional tensor distribution information, such as mean and variance, is computed in a multiscale fashion directly from the tensors by taking into account the voxel neighborhood of different sizes, and hence capturing tensor information at different scales, which in turn can be employed to hierarchically guide the registration. Such multiscale scheme can help alleviate the problem of local minimum and is also more robust to noise since one can better determine the statistical properties of each voxel by taking into account the properties of its surrounding. Also incorporated in our method is edge information extracted directly from the tensors, which is crucial to facilitate registration of tissue boundaries. Experiments involving real subjects, simulated subjects, fiber tracking, and atrophy detection indicate that TIMER performs better than the other methods in comparison (Yang et al., 2008a; Zhang et al., 2006).