Deep learning-based simultaneous registration and unsupervised non-correspondence segmentation of medical images with pathologies

Julia Andresen, Timo Kepp, Jan Ehrhardt, Claus von der Burchard, Johann Roider, Heinz Handels


Purpose: The registration of medical images often suffers from missing correspondences due to inter-patient variations, pathologies and their progression leading to implausible deformations that cause misregistrations and might eliminate valuable information. Detecting non-corresponding regions simultaneously with the registration process helps generating better deformations and has been investigated thoroughly with classical iterative frameworks but rarely with deep learning-based methods. Methods: We present the joint non-correspondence segmentation and image registration network (NCR-Net), a convolutional neural network (CNN) trained on a Mumford–Shah-like functional, transferring the classical approach to the field of deep learning. NCR-Net consists of one encoding and two decoding parts allowing the network to simultaneously generate diffeomorphic deformations and segment non-correspondences. The loss function is composed of a masked image distance measure and regularization of deformation field and segmentation output. Additionally, anatomical labels are used for weak supervision of the registration task. No manual segmentations of non-correspondences are required. Results: The proposed network is evaluated on the publicly available LPBA40 dataset with artificially added stroke lesions and a longitudinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) dataset of patients with age-related macular degeneration. The LPBA40 data are used to quantitatively assess the segmentation performance of the network, and it is shown qualitatively that NCR-Net can be used for the unsupervised segmentation of pathologies in OCT images. Furthermore, NCR-Net is compared to a registration-only network and state-of-the-art registration algorithms showing that NCR-Net achieves competitive performance and superior robustness to non-correspondences. Conclusion: NCR-Net, a CNN for simultaneous image registration and unsupervised non-correspondence segmentation, is presented. Experimental results show the network’s ability to segment non-correspondence regions in an unsupervised manner and its robust registration performance even in the presence of large pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)699-710
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 04.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Center for Artificial Intelligence Luebeck (ZKIL)


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