A novel framework for longitudinal atlas construction with groupwise registration of subject image sequences

Shu Liao, Hongjun Jia, Guorong Wu, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Longitudinal atlas construction plays an important role in medical image analysis. Given a set of longitudinal images from different subjects, the task of longitudinal atlas construction is to build an atlas sequence which can represent the trend of anatomical changes of the population. The major challenge for longitudinal atlas construction is how to effectively incorporate both the subject-specific information and population information to build the unbiased atlases. In this paper, a novel groupwise longitudinal atlas construction framework is proposed to address this challenge, and the main contributions of the proposed framework lie in the following aspects: (1) The subject-specific longitudinal information is captured by building the growth model for each subject. (2) The longitudinal atlas sequence is constructed by performing groupwise registration among all the subject image sequences, and only one transformation is needed to transform each subject's image sequence to the atlas space. The constructed longitudinal atlases are unbiased and no explicit template is assumed. (3) The proposed method is general, where the number of longitudinal images of each subject and the time points at which they are taken can be different. The proposed method is extensively evaluated on two longitudinal databases, namely the BLSA and ADNI databases, to construct the longitudinal atlas sequence. It is also compared with a state-of-the-art longitudinal atlas construction algorithm based on kernel regression on the temporal domain. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method consistently achieves higher registration accuracies and more consistent spatial-temporal correspondences than the compared method on both databases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1275-1289
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 16

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH grants EB006733 , EB008374 , EB009634 and MH088520 . The BLSA dataset used in this paper was provided by Dr. Susan Resnick and Dr. Christos Davatzikos.


  • Groupwise registration
  • Longitudinal atlas construction
  • Unbiased atlas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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