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We propose a new model-based algorithm for the automated tracking of vascular networks in 2-D digital subtraction angiograms. Consecutive scanline profiles are fitted by a parametric imaging model to estimate local vessel center point, radius, edge locations and direction. An adaptive tracking strategy is applied with appropriate termination criteria to track each vessel segment. When tracking stops, to prevent premature termination and to detect bifurcations, a look ahead detection scheme is used to search for possible continuation points of the same vessel segment or those of its bifurcated segments. The proposed algorithm can automatically extract the majority of the vascular network without human interaction other than initializing the start point and direction. Compared to other tracking methods, the proposed method highlights accurate estimation of local vessel geometry. Accurate geometric information and a hierarchical vessel network are obtained which can be used for further quantitative analysis of arterial networks to obtain flow conductance estimates.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009