Automatic 3D bi-ventricular segmentation of cardiac images by a shape-refined multi-task deep learning approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Ghalib Bello
  • Jo Schlemper
  • Wenjia Bai
  • Timothy J W Dawes
  • Carlo Biffi
  • Antonio de Marvao
  • Georgia Doumou
  • Declan P O'Regan
  • Daniel Rueckert

Colleges, School and Institutes


Deep learning approaches have achieved state-of-the-art performance in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) image segmentation. However, most approaches have focused on learning image intensity features for segmentation, whereas the incorporation of anatomical shape priors has received less attention. In this paper, we combine a multi-task deep learning approach with atlas propagation to develop a shape-refined bi-ventricular segmentation pipeline for short-axis CMR volumetric images. The pipeline first employs a fully convolutional network (FCN) that learns segmentation and landmark localization tasks simultaneously. The architecture of the proposed FCN uses a 2.5D representation, thus combining the computational advantage of 2D FCNs networks and the capability of addressing 3D spatial consistency without compromising segmentation accuracy. Moreover, a refinement step is designed to explicitly impose shape prior knowledge and improve segmentation quality. This step is effective for overcoming image artifacts (e.g., due to different breath-hold positions and large slice thickness), which preclude the creation of anatomically meaningful 3D cardiac shapes. The pipeline is fully automated, due to network's ability to infer landmarks, which are then used downstream in the pipeline to initialize atlas propagation. We validate the pipeline on 1831 healthy subjects and 649 subjects with pulmonary hypertension. Extensive numerical experiments on the two datasets demonstrate that our proposed method is robust and capable of producing accurate, high-resolution, and anatomically smooth bi-ventricular 3D models, despite the presence of artifacts in input CMR volumes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2164
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number9
Early online date23 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Deep learning, bi-ventricular CMR segmentation, landmark localization, non-rigid registration, label fusion, multi-atlas segmentation, shape prior, cardiac artifacts