Methods on skull stripping of MRI head scan images - A review


The high resolution magnetic resonance (MR) brain images contain some non-brain tissues such as skin, fat, muscle, neck, and eye balls compared to the functional images namely positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) which usually contain relatively less non-brain tissues. The presence of these non-brain tissues is considered as a major obstacle for automatic brain image segmentation and analysis techniques. Therefore, quantitative morphometric studies of MR brain images often require a preliminary processing to isolate the brain from extra-cranial or non-brain tissues, commonly referred to as skull stripping. This paper describes the available methods on skull stripping and an exploratory review of recent literature on the existing skull stripping methods.