Robust fast automatic skull stripping of MRI-T2 data

Srinivasan Rajagopalan, Ronald A. Karwoski, Richard Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The efficacy of image processing and analysis on skull stripped MR images vis-à-vis the original images is well established. Additionally, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires neuroimage repositories to anonymise the images before sharing them. This makes the non-trivial skull stripping process all the more significant. While a number of optimal approaches exist to strip the skull from T1-weighted MR images to the best of our knowledge, there is no simple, robust, fast, parameter free and fully automatic technique to perform the same on T2-weighted images. This paper presents a strategy to fill this gap. It employs a fast parameterization of the T2 image intensity onto a standardized T1 intensity scale. The parametric "T1-like" image obtained via the transformation, which takes only a few seconds to compute, is subsequently processed by any of the many T1-based brain extraction techniques to derive the brain mask. Masking the original T2 image with this brain mask strips the skull. By standardizing the intensity of the parametric image, preset algorithm-specific parameters (if any) could be used across multiple datasets. The proposed scheme has been used in a number of phantom and clinical T2 brain datasets to successfully strip the skull.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
Pages (from-to)485-495
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue numberI
StatePublished - 2005
EventMedical Imaging 2005 - Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2005Feb 17 2005


  • Brain extraction
  • Parametric images
  • Skull stripping
  • T2 MRI
  • Thresholding
  • Watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust fast automatic skull stripping of MRI-T2 data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this