Most automated segmentation approaches to the mitral valve and left ventricle in 3-D echocardiography require a manual initialization. In this article, we propose a fully automatic scheme to initialize a multicavity segmentation approach in 3-D transesophageal echocardiography by detecting the left ventricle long axis, the mitral valve and the aortic valve location. Our approach uses a probabilistic and structural tissue classification to find structures such as the mitral and aortic valves; the Hough transform for circles to find the center of the left ventricle and multidimensional dynamic programming to find the best position for the left ventricle long axis. For accuracy and agreement assessment, the proposed method was evaluated in 19 patients with respect to manual landmarks and as initialization of a multicavity segmentation approach for the left ventricle, the right ventricle, the left atrium, the right atrium and the aorta. The segmentation results revealed no statistically significant differences between manual and automated initialization in a paired t-test (p>0.05). Additionally, small biases between manual and automated initialization were detected in the Bland-Altman analysis (bias, variance) for the left ventricle (-0.04, 0.10); right ventricle (-0.07, 0.18); left atrium (-0.01, 0.03); right atrium (-0.04, 0.13); and aorta (-0.05, 0.14). These results indicate that the proposed approach provides robust and accurate detection to initialize a multicavity segmentation approach without any user interaction.

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Department of Cardiology

Curiale, A.H, Haak, A, Vegas-Sanchez-Ferrero, G, Ren, B, Aja-Fernández, S, & Bosch, J.G. (2014). Fully Automatic Detection of Salient Features in 3-D Transesophageal Images. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 40(12), 2868–2884. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.07.014