Evaluation of an improved technique for lumen path definition and lumen segmentation of atherosclerotic vessels in CT angiography
Vessel image analysis is crucial when considering therapeutical options for (cardio-) vascular diseases. Our method, VAMPIRE (Vascular Analysis using Multiscale Paths Inferred from Ridges and Edges), involves two parts: a user defines a start- and endpoint upon which a lumen path is automatically defined, and which is used for initialization; the automatic segmentation of the vessel lumen on computed tomographic angiography (CTA) images. Both parts are based on the detection of vessel-like structures by analyzing intensity, edge, and ridge information. A multi-observer evaluation study was performed to compare VAMPIRE with a conventional method on the CTA data of 15 patients with carotid artery stenosis. In addition to the start- and endpoint, the two radiologists required on average 2.5 (SD: 1.9) additional points to define a lumen path when using the conventional method, and 0.1 (SD: 0.3) when using VAMPIRE. The segmentation results were quantitatively evaluated using Similarity Indices, which were slightly lower between VAMPIRE and the two radiologists (respectively 0.90 and 0.88) compared with the Similarity Index between the radiologists (0.92). The evaluation shows that the improved definition of a lumen path requires minimal user interaction, and that using this path as initialization leads to good automatic lumen segmentation results.
- Spiral computed tomography
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Diagnostic imaging
- Computer-assiste dimage processing