Purpose: To develop a method for automatic segmentation of adipose and muscular tissue in thighs from magnetic resonance images. Materials and methods: Thirty obese women were scanned on a Siemens Impact Expert 1T resonance machine. 1500 images were finally used in the tests. The developed segmentation method is a recursive and multilevel process that makes use of several concepts such as shaped histograms, adaptative thresholding and connectivity. The segmentation process was implemented in Matlab and operates without the need of any user interaction. The whole set of images were segmented with the developed method. An expert radiologist segmented the same set of images following a manual procedure with the aid of the SliceOmatic software (Tomovision). These constituted our 'goal standard'. Results: The number of coincidental pixels of the automatic and manual segmentation procedures was measured. The average results were above 90 % of success in most of the images. Conclusions: The proposed approach allows effective automatic segmentation of MRIs from thighs, comparable to expert manual performance.
According to previous studies, some muscles present a non-homogeneous spatial distribution of its muscle fiber types and motor unit types. However, available muscle models only deal with muscles with homogeneous distributions. In this paper, a new architecture muscle model is proposed to permit the construction of non-uniform distributions of muscle fibers within the muscle cross section. The idea behind is the use of a motor unit placement algorithm that controls the spatial overlapping of the motor unit territories of each motor unit type. Results show the capabilities of the new algorithm to reproduce arbitrary muscle fiber type distributions.