17 March 2008 Automated segmentation and tracking of coronary arteries in ECG-gated cardiac CT scans
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Cardiac CT has been reported to be an effective means for clinical diagnosis of coronary artery plaque disease. We are investigating the feasibility of developing a computer-assisted image analysis (CAA) system to assist radiologist in detection of coronary artery plaque disease in ECG-gated cardiac CT scans. The heart region was first extracted using morphological operations and an adaptive EM thresholding method. Vascular structures in the heart volume were enhanced by 3D multi-scale filtering and analysis of the eigenvalues of Hessian matrices using a vessel enhancement response function specially designed for coronary arteries. The enhanced vascular structures were then segmented by an EM estimation method. Finally, our newly developed 3D rolling balloon vessel tracking method (RBVT) was used to track the segmented coronary arteries. Starting at two manually identified points located at the origins of left and right coronary artery (LCA and RCA), the RBVT method moved a sphere of adaptive diameter along the vessels, tracking the vessels and identifying its branches automatically to generate the left and right coronary arterial trees. Ten cardiac CT scans that contained various degrees of coronary artery diseases were used as test data set for our vessel segmentation and tracking method. Two experienced thoracic radiologists visually examined the computer tracked coronary arteries on a graphical interface to count untracked false-negative (FN) branches (segments). A total of 27 artery segments were identified to be FNs in the 10 cases, ranging from 0 to 6 FN segments in each case. No FN artery segment was found in 2 cases.
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Chuan Zhou, Heang-Ping Chan, Aamer Chughtai, Smita Patel, Prachi Agarwal, Lubomir M. Hadjiiski, Berkman Sahiner, Jun Wei, Jun Ge, Ella A. Kazerooni, "Automated segmentation and tracking of coronary arteries in ECG-gated cardiac CT scans", Proc. SPIE 6915, Medical Imaging 2008: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 69150O (17 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.770362; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.770362

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