Deep Learning–based Approach for Brainstem and Ventricular MR Planimetry: Application in Patients with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

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“Just Accepted” papers have undergone full peer review and have been accepted for publication in Radiology: Artificial Intelligence. This article will undergo copyediting, layout, and proof review before it is published in its final version. Please note that during production of the final copyedited article, errors may be discovered which could affect the content.


To develop a fast and fully automated deep learning (DL)-based method for the MRI planimetric segmentation and measurement of the brainstem and ventricular structures most affected in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).

Materials and Methods

In this retrospective study, T1-weighted MR images from healthy controls (n=84) were used to train DL models for segmenting the midbrain, pons, middle cerebellar peduncles (MCP), superior cerebellar peduncle (SCP), third ventricle (3rd V) and frontal horns (FHs). Internal, external and clinical test datasets (n=305) were used to assess segmentation model reliability. DL masks from test datasets were used to automatically extract midbrain and pons areas and the width of MCP, SCP, 3rd V and FHs. Automated measurements were compared with those manually performed by an expert radiologist. Finally, these measures were combined to calculate the midbrain-to-pons area ratio, magnetic resonance parkinsonism index (MRPI) and MRPI 2.0, which were used to differentiate patients with PSP (n=71) from those with Parkinson’s disease (PD, n=129).


Dice coefficients above 0.85 were found for all brain regions when comparing manual and DL-based segmentations. A strong correlation was observed between automated and manual measurements (Spearman’s Rho>0.80, p<0.001). DL-based measurements showed excellent performance in differentiating patients with PSP from those with PD, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve above 0.92.


Automated approach successfully segmented and measured the brainstem and ventricular structures. DL-based models may represent a useful approach to support the diagnosis of PSP and potentially other conditions associated with brainstem and ventricular alterations.

©RSNA, 2024

Article History

Published online: Mar 20 2024