Landmark based shape analysis for cerebellar ataxia classification and cerebellar atrophy pattern visualization


Cerebellar dysfunction can lead to a wide range of movement disorders. Studying the cerebellar atrophy pattern associated with different cerebellar disease types can potentially help in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning. In this paper, we present a landmark based shape analysis pipeline to classify healthy control and different ataxia types and to visualize the characteristic cerebellar atrophy patterns associated with different types. A highly informative feature representation of the cerebellar structure is constructed by extracting dense homologous landmarks on the boundary surfaces of cerebellar sub-structures. A diagnosis group classifier based on this representation is built using partial least square dimension reduction and regularized linear discriminant analysis. The characteristic atrophy pattern for an ataxia type is visualized by sampling along the discriminant direction between healthy controls and the ataxia type. Experimental results show that the proposed method can successfully classify healthy controls and different ataxia types. The visualized cerebellar atrophy patterns were consistent with the regional volume decreases observed in previous studies, but the proposed method provides intuitive and detailed understanding about changes of overall size and shape of the cerebellum, as well as that of individual lobules.

International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Medical Imaging 2016