TransMorph: Transformer for unsupervised medical image registration Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In the last decade, convolutional neural networks (ConvNets) have been a major focus of research in medical image analysis. However, the performances of ConvNets may be limited by a lack of explicit consideration of the long-range spatial relationships in an image. Recently, Vision Transformer architectures have been proposed to address the shortcomings of ConvNets and have produced state-of-the-art performances in many medical imaging applications. Transformers may be a strong candidate for image registration because their substantially larger receptive field enables a more precise comprehension of the spatial correspondence between moving and fixed images. Here, we present TransMorph, a hybrid Transformer-ConvNet model for volumetric medical image registration. This paper also presents diffeomorphic and Bayesian variants of TransMorph: the diffeomorphic variants ensure the topology-preserving deformations, and the Bayesian variant produces a well-calibrated registration uncertainty estimate. We extensively validated the proposed models using 3D medical images from three applications: inter-patient and atlas-to-patient brain MRI registration and phantom-to-CT registration. The proposed models are evaluated in comparison to a variety of existing registration methods and Transformer architectures. Qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate that the proposed Transformer-based model leads to a substantial performance improvement over the baseline methods, confirming the effectiveness of Transformers for medical image registration.

authors

  • Chen, Junyu
  • Frey, Eric C
  • He, Yufan
  • Segars, William P
  • Li, Ye
  • Du, Yong

publication date

  • November 2022