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13 March 2006 Quantification of carotid vessel atherosclerosis
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Atherosclerosis is characterized by the development of plaques in the arterial wall, which ultimately leads to heart attacks and stroke. 3D ultrasound (US) has been used to screen patients' carotid arteries. Plaque measurements obtained from these images may aid in the management and monitoring of patients, and in evaluating the effect of new treatment options. Different types of measures for ultrasound phenotypes of atherosclerosis have been proposed. Here, we report on the development and application of a method used to analyze changes in carotid plaque morphology from 3D US images obtained at two different time points. We evaluated our technique using manual segmentations of the wall and lumen of the carotid artery from images acquired in two US scanning sessions. To incorporate the effect of intraobserver variability in our evaluation, manual segmentation was performed five times each for the arterial wall and lumen. From this set of five segmentations, the mean wall and lumen surfaces were reconstructed, with the standard deviation at each point mapped onto the surfaces. A correspondence map between the mean wall and lumen surfaces was then established, and the thickness of the atherosclerotic plaque at each point in the vessel was estimated to be the distance between each correspondence pairs. The two-sample Student's t-test was used to judge whether the difference between the thickness values at each pair corresponding points of the arteries in the two 3D US images was statistically significant.
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Bernard Chiu, Micaela Egger, J. David Spence, Grace Parraga, and Aaron Fenster "Quantification of carotid vessel atherosclerosis", Proc. SPIE 6143, Medical Imaging 2006: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, 61430B (13 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.653554;

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