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29 April 2005 Fast and robust diaphragm detection and tracking in cardiac x-ray projection images
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A number of image analysis tasks of the heart region have to cope with both the problem of respiration and heart contraction. While the heart contraction status can be estimated based on the ECG, respiration status estimation must be based on the images themselves, unless additional devices for respiration measurements are used. Since diaphragm motion is closely linked to respiration, we describe a method to detect and track the diaphragm in x-ray projections. We model the diaphragm boundary as being approximately circular. Diaphragm detection is then based on edge detection followed by a Hough transform for circles. To avoid that the detection algorithm is misled by high frequency image content, we first apply a morphological multi-scale top hat operator. A Canny edge detector is then applied to the top hat filtered images. In the edge images, the circle corresponding to the diaphragm boundary is found by the Hough transform. To restrict the search in the 3D Hough parameter space (parameters are circle center coordinates and radius), prior anatomical knowledge about position and size of the diaphragm for the given image acquisition geometry is taken into account. In subsequent frames, diaphragm position and size are predicted from previous detection and tracking results. For each detection result, a confidence measure is computed by analyzing the Hough parameter space with respect to the goodness of the peak giving the circle parameters and by analyzing the coefficient of variation of the pixel that form the circle described by the maximum in Hough parameter space. If the confidence is not sufficiently high -- indicating a poor fit between the Hough circle and true diaphragm boundary -- the detection result is optionally refined by an active contour algorithm.
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Alexandru Condurache, Til Aach, Kai Eck, Joerg Bredno, and Thomas Stehle "Fast and robust diaphragm detection and tracking in cardiac x-ray projection images", Proc. SPIE 5747, Medical Imaging 2005: Image Processing, (29 April 2005);

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