Automated carotid artery intima layer regional segmentation
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Physics in Medicine and Biology
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MEIBURGER, K. M.; MOLINARI, F.; ACHARYA, U. R.; SABA, L.; RODRIGUES, Paulo; LIBONI, W.; NICOLAIDES, A.; SURI, J. S. Automated carotid artery intima layer regional segmentation. Physics in Medicine and Biology, v. 56, n. 13, p. 4073-4090, 2011.
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Evaluation of the carotid artery wall is essential for the assessment of a patient's cardiovascular risk or for the diagnosis of cardiovascular pathologies. This paper presents a new, completely user-independent algorithm called carotid artery intima layer regional segmentation (CAILRS, a class of AtheroEdge™ systems), which automatically segments the intima layer of the far wall of the carotid ultrasound artery based on mean shift classification applied to the far wall. Further, the system extracts the lumen-intima and media-adventitia borders in the far wall of the carotid artery. Our new system is characterized and validated by comparing CAILRS borders with the manual tracings carried out by experts. The new technique is also benchmarked with a semi-automatic technique based on a first-order absolute moment edge operator (FOAM) and compared to our previous edge-based automated methods such as CALEX (Molinari et al 2010 J. Ultrasound Med. 29 399-418, 2010 IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control 57 1112-24), CULEX (Delsanto et al 2007 IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 56 1265-74, Molinari et al 2010 IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control 57 1112-24), CALSFOAM (Molinari et al Int. Angiol. (at press)), and CAUDLES-EF (Molinari et al J. Digit. Imaging (at press)). Our multi-institutional database consisted of 300 longitudinal B-mode carotid images. In comparison to semi-automated FOAM, CAILRS showed the IMT bias of -0.035 0.186 mm while FOAM showed -0.016 0.258 mm. Our IMT was slightly underestimated with respect to the ground truth IMT, but showed uniform behavior over the entire database. CAILRS outperformed all the four previous automated methods. The system's figure of merit was 95.6%, which was lower than that of the semi-automated method (98%), but higher than that of the other automated techniques. © 2011 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.