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Real-Time Vessel Segmentation and Tracking for Ultrasound Imaging Applications

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5 Author(s)

A method for vessel segmentation and tracking in ultrasound images using Kalman filters is presented. A modified Star-Kalman algorithm is used to determine vessel contours and ellipse parameters using an extended Kalman filter with an elliptical model. The parameters can be used to easily calculate the transverse vessel area which is of clinical use. A temporal Kalman filter is used for tracking the vessel center over several frames, using location measurements from a handheld sensorized ultrasound probe. The segmentation and tracking have been implemented in real-time and validated using simulated ultrasound data with known features and real data, for which expert segmentation was performed. Results indicate that mean errors between segmented contours and expert tracings are on the order of 1%-2% of the maximum feature dimension, and that the transverse cross-sectional vessel area as computed from estimated ellipse parameters a, b as determined by our algorithm is within 10% of that determined by experts. The location of the vessel center was tracked accurately for a range of speeds from 1.4 to 11.2 mm/s.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 8 )