Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2020; 24(01): 50-64
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-3400268
Review Article

Quantification in Musculoskeletal Imaging Using Computational Analysis and Machine Learning: Segmentation and Radiomics

Meritxell Bach Cuadra
1   Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland
2   Centre d'Imagerie BioMédicale (CIBM), Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland
3   Signal Processing Laboratory (LTS5), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
Julien Favre
4   Swiss BioMotion Lab, Department of Musculoskeletal Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Patrick Omoumi
1   Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland
4   Swiss BioMotion Lab, Department of Musculoskeletal Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
› Author Affiliations
Source of Funding The work is supported by the Centre d'Imagerie BioMédicale (CIBM) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Geneva (UniGe), the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG), and the Leenaards and Jeantet Foundations.


Although still limited in clinical practice, quantitative analysis is expected to increase the value of musculoskeletal (MSK) imaging. Segmentation aims at isolating the tissues and/or regions of interest in the image and is crucial to the extraction of quantitative features such as size, signal intensity, or image texture. These features may serve to support the diagnosis and monitoring of disease. Radiomics refers to the process of extracting large amounts of features from radiologic images and combining them with clinical, biological, genetic, or any other type of complementary data to build diagnostic, prognostic, or predictive models. The advent of machine learning offers promising prospects for automatic segmentation and integration of large amounts of data. We present commonly used segmentation methods and describe the radiomics pipeline, highlighting the challenges to overcome for adoption in clinical practice. We provide some examples of applications from the MSK literature.

Publication History

Article published online:
28 January 2020

© 2020. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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