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Quantitative analysis of ultrasound B-mode images of carotid atherosclerotic plaque: correlation with visual classification and histological examination

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6 Author(s)
J. E. Wilhjelm ; CADUS, Tech. Univ. Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark ; M. -L. M. Gronholdt ; B. Wiebe ; S. K. Jespersen
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This paper presents a quantitative comparison of three types of information available for 52 patients scheduled for carotid endarterectomy: subjective classification of the ultrasound images obtained during scanning before operation, first- and second-order statistical features extracted from regions of the plaque in still ultrasound images from three orthogonal scan planes and finally a histological analysis of the surgically removed plaque. The quantitative comparison was made with the linear model and with separation of the available data into training and test sets. The comparison of subjective classification with features from still ultrasound images revealed an overall agreement of 60% for classification of echogenicity and 70% for classification of structure. Comparison of the histologically determined relative volume of soft materials with features from the still images revealed a correlation coefficient of r=-0.42 (p=0.002), for mean echogenicity of the plaque region. The best performing feature was of second order and denoted contrast (r=-0.5). Though significant, the latter correlation is probably not strong enough to be useful for clinical prediction of relative volume of soft materials for individual patients. Reasons for this is discussed in the paper, together with suggestions for improvements.

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 6 )