CorticalFlow^++: Boosting Cortical Surface Reconstruction Accuracy, Regularity, and Interoperability

by   Rodrigo Santa Cruz, et al.

The problem of Cortical Surface Reconstruction from magnetic resonance imaging has been traditionally addressed using lengthy pipelines of image processing techniques like FreeSurfer, CAT, or CIVET. These frameworks require very long runtimes deemed unfeasible for real-time applications and unpractical for large-scale studies. Recently, supervised deep learning approaches have been introduced to speed up this task cutting down the reconstruction time from hours to seconds. Using the state-of-the-art CorticalFlow model as a blueprint, this paper proposes three modifications to improve its accuracy and interoperability with existing surface analysis tools, while not sacrificing its fast inference time and low GPU memory consumption. First, we employ a more accurate ODE solver to reduce the diffeomorphic mapping approximation error. Second, we devise a routine to produce smoother template meshes avoiding mesh artifacts caused by sharp edges in CorticalFlow's convex-hull based template. Last, we recast pial surface prediction as the deformation of the predicted white surface leading to a one-to-one mapping between white and pial surface vertices. This mapping is essential to many existing surface analysis tools for cortical morphometry. We name the resulting method CorticalFlow^++. Using large-scale datasets, we demonstrate the proposed changes provide more geometric accuracy and surface regularity while keeping the reconstruction time and GPU memory requirements almost unchanged.


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