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14 February 2012 Vessel centerline extraction in phase-contrast MR images using vector flow information
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To obtain hemodynamic-relevant parameters in case of cardiovascular diseases the velocity-encoded magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI) is used for the non-invasive measurement of the blood flow in terms of 3D velocity fields. During the segmentation of the vessel lumen in those datasets conventional segmentation methods often fail due to reduced image quality. In this paper we present a method for the centerline extraction of great vessels in PC-MR images using additional features extracted from vector flow information. The proposed algorithm can be divided in the following steps: the propagation along the vessel course by using streamlines and the largest eigenvector, the radial search for the vessel boundary, the determination of the center position in the cross-sectional plane of the vessel and the adjustment of the propagation step size subject to the vessel curvature. This is done by using a combination of morphology and flow information: the Sobel filtered and the threshold filtered image as morphologic features as well as the coherence values of the flow vectors and the behaviour of the blood flow streamlines within the vessel and around the borders as flow features. The developed algorithm was evaluated on clinical PC-MRI datasets with encouraging results. The centerline points of the entire aorta as well as corresponding border points were successfully extracted for 16 out of 17 examined datasets. For the detection of the vessel boundary the features extracted from flow information showed to yield more reliable results than morphology features.
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Yoo-Jin Jeong, Sebastian Ley, Rüdiger Dillmann, and Roland Unterhinninghofen "Vessel centerline extraction in phase-contrast MR images using vector flow information", Proc. SPIE 8314, Medical Imaging 2012: Image Processing, 83143H (14 February 2012);

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