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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 621905, 14 pages
Research Article

A Framework of Vertebra Segmentation Using the Active Shape Model-Based Approach

Faculty of Engineering, University of Mons, Biosys Pole, Place du Parc, 20-7000 Mons, Belgium

Received 18 December 2010; Revised 6 April 2011; Accepted 6 May 2011

Academic Editor: Hacene Serrai

Copyright © 2011 Mohammed Benjelloun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We propose a medical image segmentation approach based on the Active Shape Model theory. We apply this method for cervical vertebra detection. The main advantage of this approach is the application of a statistical model created after a training stage. Thus, the knowledge and interaction of the domain expert intervene in this approach. Our application allows the use of two different models, that is, a global one (with several vertebrae) and a local one (with a single vertebra). Two modes of segmentation are also proposed: manual and semiautomatic. For the manual mode, only two points are selected by the user on a given image. The first point needs to be close to the lower anterior corner of the last vertebra and the second near the upper anterior corner of the first vertebra. These two points are required to initialize the segmentation process. We propose to use the Harris corner detector combined with three successive filters to carry out the semiautomatic process. The results obtained on a large set of X-ray images are very promising.