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Modern medical imaging modalities provide large amounts of information in both the spatial and temporal domains and the incorporation of this information in a coherent algorithmic framework is a significant challenge. In this paper, we present a novel and intuitive approach to combine 3-D spatial and temporal (3-D + time) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in an integrated segmentation algorithm to extract the myocardium of the left ventricle. A novel level-set segmentation process is developed that simultaneously delineates and tracks the boundaries of the left ventricle muscle. By encoding prior knowledge about cardiac temporal evolution in a parametric framework, an expectation-maximization algorithm optimally tracks the myocardial deformation over the cardiac cycle. The expectation step deforms the level-set function while the maximization step updates the prior temporal model parameters to perform the segmentation in a nonrigid sense.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2008