A framework for the automatic detection and characterization of brain malformations: Validation on the corpus callosum

Denis Peruzzo, Filippo Arrigoni, Fabio Triulzi, Andrea Righini, Cecilia Parazzini, Umberto Castellani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we extend the one-class Support Vector Machine (SVM) and the regularized discriminative direction analysis to the Multiple Kernel (MK) framework, providing an effective analysis pipeline for the detection and characterization of brain malformations, in particular those affecting the corpus callosum.The detection of the brain malformations is currently performed by visual inspection of MRI images, making the diagnostic process sensible to the operator experience and subjectiveness. The method we propose addresses these problems by automatically reproducing the neuroradiologist's approach. One-class SVMs are appropriate to cope with heterogeneous brain abnormalities that are considered outliers. The MK framework allows to efficiently combine the different geometric features that can be used to describe brain structures. Moreover, the regularized discriminative direction analysis is exploited to highlight the specific malformative patterns for each patient.We performed two different experiments. Firstly, we tested the proposed method to detect the malformations of the corpus callosum on a 104 subject dataset. Results showed that the proposed pipeline can classify the subjects with an accuracy larger than 90% and that the discriminative direction analysis can highlight a wide range of malformative patterns (e.g., local, diffuse, and complex abnormalities). Secondly, we compared the diagnosis of four neuroradiologists on a dataset of 128 subjects. The diagnosis was performed both in blind condition and using the classifier and the discriminative direction outputs. Results showed that the use of the proposed pipeline as an assisted diagnosis tool improves the inter-subject variability of the diagnosis.Finally, a graphical representation of the discriminative direction analysis was proposed to enhance the interpretability of the results and provide the neuroradiologist with a tool to fully and clearly characterize the patient malformations at single-subject level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Image Analysis
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Computer aided diagnosis
  • Discriminative direction
  • Malformation detection
  • Support vector machines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health Informatics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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