Automatic Morphometry of Nerve Histological Sections

A method for the automatic segmentation, recognition and measurement of neuronal myelinated fibers in nerve histological sections is presented. In this method, the fiber parameters i.e. perimeter, area, position of the fiber and myelin sheath thickness are automatically computed. Obliquity of the sections may be taken into account. First, the image is thresholded to provide a coarse classification between myelin and non-myelin pixels. Next, the resulting binary image is further simplified using connected morphological operators. By applying semantic rules to the zonal graph axon candidates are identified. Those are either isolated or still connected. Then, separation of connected fibers is performed by evaluating myelin sheath thickness around each candidate area with an Euclidean distance transformation. Finally, properties of each detected fiber are computed and false positives are removed. The accuracy of the method is assessed by evaluating missed detection, false positive ratio and comparing the results to the manual procedure with sampling. In the evaluated nerve surface, a 0.9% of false positives was found, along with 6.36% of missed detections. The resulting histograms show strong correlation with those obtained by manual measure. The noise introduced by this method is significantly lower than the intrinsic sampling variability. This automatic method constitutes an original tool for morphometrical analysis.


Published in:
Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 97, 2, 111-122
Year:
2000
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 Record created 2006-06-14, last modified 2019-06-29

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