Segmentation of 3D microPET images of the rat brain via the hybrid gaussian mixture method with kernel density estimation

Tai Been Chen, Jyh Cheng Chen, Henry Horng Shing Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Segmentation of positron emission tomography (PET) is typically achieved using the K-Means method or other approaches. In preclinical and clinical applications, the K-Means method needs a prior estimation of parameters such as the number of clusters and appropriate initialized values. This work segments microPET images using a hybrid method combining the Gaussian mixture model (GMM) with kernel density estimation. Segmentation is crucial to registration of disordered 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) accumulation locations with functional diagnosis and to estimate standardized uptake values (SUVs) of region of interests (ROIs) in PET images. Therefore, simulation studies are conducted to apply spherical targets to evaluate segmentation accuracy based on Tanimoto's definition of similarity. The proposed method generates a higher degree of similarity than the K-Means method. The PET images of a rat brain are used to compare the segmented shape and area of the cerebral cortex by the K-Means method and the proposed method by volume rendering. The proposed method provides clearer and more detailed activity structures of an FDG accumulation location in the cerebral cortex than those by the K-Means method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-349
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of X-Ray Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2012


  • FDG
  • Gaussian mixture model
  • K-Means
  • PET
  • cerebral cortex
  • kernel density estimation


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