SUGAR: Spherical Ultrafast Graph Attention Framework for Cortical Surface Registration

by   Jianxun Ren, et al.

Cortical surface registration plays a crucial role in aligning cortical functional and anatomical features across individuals. However, conventional registration algorithms are computationally inefficient. Recently, learning-based registration algorithms have emerged as a promising solution, significantly improving processing efficiency. Nonetheless, there remains a gap in the development of a learning-based method that exceeds the state-of-the-art conventional methods simultaneously in computational efficiency, registration accuracy, and distortion control, despite the theoretically greater representational capabilities of deep learning approaches. To address the challenge, we present SUGAR, a unified unsupervised deep-learning framework for both rigid and non-rigid registration. SUGAR incorporates a U-Net-based spherical graph attention network and leverages the Euler angle representation for deformation. In addition to the similarity loss, we introduce fold and multiple distortion losses, to preserve topology and minimize various types of distortions. Furthermore, we propose a data augmentation strategy specifically tailored for spherical surface registration, enhancing the registration performance. Through extensive evaluation involving over 10,000 scans from 7 diverse datasets, we showed that our framework exhibits comparable or superior registration performance in accuracy, distortion, and test-retest reliability compared to conventional and learning-based methods. Additionally, SUGAR achieves remarkable sub-second processing times, offering a notable speed-up of approximately 12,000 times in registering 9,000 subjects from the UK Biobank dataset in just 32 minutes. This combination of high registration performance and accelerated processing time may greatly benefit large-scale neuroimaging studies.


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