Segmentation of the hippocampus from magnetic resonance (MR) images is a key task in the evaluation of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) patients. Several automated algorithms have been proposed although manual segmentation remains the benchmark. Choosing a reliable algorithm is problematic since structural definition pertaining to multiple edges, missing and fuzzy boundaries, and shape changes varies among mTLE subjects. Lack of statistical references and guidance for quantifying the reliability and reproducibility of automated techniques has further detracted from automated approaches. The purpose of this study was to develop a systematic and statistical approach using a large dataset for the evaluation of automated methods and establish a method that would achieve results better approximating those attained by manual tracing in the epileptogenic hippocampus.