Automated Tracking of the Mitral Valve Annulus Motion in Apical Echocardiographic Images Using Multidimensional Dynamic Programming
We developed a semiautomatic method for tracking the mitral valve annulus (MVA) in echocardiographic images, in particular, tracking the septal and the lateral mitral valve hinge points. The algorithm is based on multidimensional dynamic programming combined with apodized block matching. The method was tested on single-beat apical four chamber image sequences of 20 patients with acute myocardial infarction. The automated tracking results were evaluated by comparing them with the average manual tracking results of two experts. The mitral valve hinge point displacements and the total mitral excursions obtained by the automatic technique agreed well with those obtained manually and outperformed two commonly used tracking methods (forward tracking and minimum tracking). In conclusion, this novel semiautomatic tracking method is clinically valuable and capable of tracking the MVA motion within the limits of interobserver variability. The technique is robust, even in low frame rate, redigitized VCR images of clinical quality. (E-mail: S.T.Nevo@Student.TUDelft.NL).