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Automatic brain lesion segmentation on standard MRIs of the human head: a scoping review protocol.

Journal article
Authors Emilia Gryska
Justin F. Schneiderman
Rolf A. Heckemann
Published in BMJ open
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages e024824
ISSN 2044-6055
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages e024824
Language en
Subject categories Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging, Medical Image Processing


Automatic brain lesion segmentation from medical images has great potential to support clinical decision making. Although numerous methods have been proposed, significant challenges must be addressed before they will become established in clinical and research practice. We aim to elucidate the state of the art, to provide a synopsis of competing approaches and identify contrasts between them.We present the background and study design of a scoping review for automatic brain lesion segmentation methods for conventional MRI according to the framework proposed by Arksey and O'Malley. We aim to identify common image processing steps as well as mathematical and computational theories implemented in these methods. We will aggregate the evidence on the efficacy and identify limitations of the approaches. Methods to be investigated work with standard MRI sequences from human patients examined for brain lesions, and are validated with quantitative measures against a trusted reference. PubMed, IEEE Xplore and Scopus will be searched using search phrases that will ensure an inclusive and unbiased overview. For matching records, titles and abstracts will be screened to ensure eligibility. Studies will be excluded if a full paper is not available or is not written in English, if non-standard MR sequences are used, if there is no quantitative validation, or if the method is not automatic. In the data charting phase, we will extract information about authors, publication details and study cohort. We expect to find information about preprocessing, segmentation and validation procedures. We will develop an analytical framework to collate, summarise and synthesise the data.Ethical approval for this study is not required since the information will be extracted from published studies. We will submit the review report to a peer-reviewed scientific journal and explore other venues for presenting the work.

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