Intracranial aneurysm segmentation in 3D CT angiography: Method and quantitative validation
Accurately quantifying aneurysm shape parameters is of clinical importance, as it is an important factor in choosing the right treatment modality (i.e. coiling or clipping), in predicting rupture risk and operative risk and for pre-surgical planning. The first step in aneurysm quantification is to segment it from other structures that are present in the image. As manual segmentation is a tedious procedure and prone to inter- and intra-observer variability, there is a need for an automated method which is accurate and reproducible. In this paper a novel semi-automated method for segmenting aneurysms in Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) data based on Geodesic Active Contours is presented and quantitatively evaluated. Three different image features are used to steer the level set to the boundary of the aneurysm, namely intensity, gradient magnitude and variance in intensity. The method requires minimum user interaction, i.e. clicking a single seed point inside the aneurysm which is used to estimate the vessel intensity distribution and to initialize the level set. The results show that the developed method is reproducible, and performs in the range of interobserver variability in terms of accuracy.