10 March 2008 Detection of artery interfaces: a real-time system and its clinical applications
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Analyzing the artery mechanics is a crucial issue because of its close relationship with several cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes. Moreover, most of the work can be carried out by analyzing image sequences obtained with ultrasounds, that is with a non-invasive technique which allows a real-time visualization of the observed structures. For this reason, therefore, an accurate temporal localization of the main vessel interfaces becomes a central task for which the manual approach should be avoided since such a method is rather unreliable and time consuming. Real-time automatic systems are advantageously used to automatically locate the arterial interfaces. The automatic measurement reduces the inter/intra-observer variability with respect to the manual measurement which unavoidably depends on the experience of the operator. The real-time visual feedback, moreover, guides physicians when looking for the best position of the ultrasound probe, thus increasing the global robustness of the system. The automatic system which we developed is a stand-alone video processing system which acquires the analog video signal from the ultrasound equipment, performs all the measurements and shows the results in real-time. The localization algorithm of the artery tunics is based on a new mathematical operator (the first order absolute moment) and on a pattern recognition approach. Various clinical applications have been developed on board and validated through a comparison with gold-standard techniques: the assessment of intima-media thickness, the arterial distension, the flow-mediated dilation and the pulse wave velocity. With this paper, the results obtained on clinical trials are presented.
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Francesco Faita, Vincenzo Gemignani, Elisabetta Bianchini, Chiara Giannarelli, Lorenzo Ghiadoni, Marcello Demi, "Detection of artery interfaces: a real-time system and its clinical applications", Proc. SPIE 6920, Medical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, 69200F (10 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.770408; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.770408

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