We introduce a new approach for 3-D segmentation and quantification of vessels. The approach is based on a 3-D cylindrical parametric intensity model, which is directly fitted to the image intensities through an incremental process based on a Kalman filter. Segmentation results are the vessel centerline and shape, i.e., we estimate the local vessel radius, the 3-D position and 3-D orientation, the contrast, as well as the fitting error. We carried out an extensive validation using 3-D synthetic images and also compared the new approach with an approach based on a Gaussian model. In addition, the new model has been successfully applied to segment vessels from 3-D MRA and computed tomography angiography image data. In particular, we compared our approach with an approach based on the randomized Hough transform. Moreover, a validation of the segmentation results based on ground truth provided by a radiologist confirms the accuracy of the new approach. Our experiments show that the new model yields superior results in estimating the vessel radius compared to previous approaches based on a Gaussian model as well as the Hough transform.