SVseg: Stacked Sparse Autoencoder-Based Patch Classification Modeling for Vertebrae Segmentation

Syed Furqan Qadri, Linlin Shen, Mubashir Ahmad, Salman Qadri, Syeda Shamaila Zareen, Muhammad Azeem Akbar

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Precise vertebrae segmentation is essential for the image-related analysis of spine pathologies such as vertebral compression fractures and other abnormalities, as well as for clinical diagnostic treatment and surgical planning. An automatic and objective system for vertebra segmentation is required, but its development is likely to run into difficulties such as low segmentation accuracy and the requirement of prior knowledge or human intervention. Recently, vertebral segmentation methods have focused on deep learning-based techniques. To mitigate the challenges involved, we propose deep learning primitives and stacked Sparse autoencoder-based patch classification modeling for Vertebrae segmentation (SVseg) from Computed Tomography (CT) images. After data preprocessing, we extract overlapping patches from CT images as input to train the model. The stacked sparse autoencoder learns high-level features from unlabeled image patches in an unsupervised way. Furthermore, we employ supervised learning to refine the feature representation to improve the discriminability of learned features. These high-level features are fed into a logistic regression classifier to fine-tune the model. A sigmoid classifier is added to the network to discriminate the vertebrae patches from non-vertebrae patches by selecting the class with the highest probabilities. We validated our proposed SVseg model on the publicly available MICCAI Computational Spine Imaging (CSI) dataset. After configuration optimization, our proposed SVseg model achieved impressive performance, with 87.39% in Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC), 77.60% in Jaccard Similarity Coefficient (JSC), 91.53% in precision (PRE), and 90.88% in sensitivity (SEN). The experimental results demonstrated the method’s efficiency and significant potential for diagnosing and treating clinical spinal diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number796
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • CT images
  • Deep learning
  • Image patch
  • MICCAI-CSI dataset
  • Sigmoid classifier
  • Stacked sparse autoencoder
  • SVseg
  • Unsupervised learning
  • Vertebrae segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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