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This paper describes a new fully automatic fuzzy multiresolution-based algorithm for cardiac left ventricular (LV) epicardial and endocardial boundary detection and tracking on a sequence of short axis (SA) echocardiographic images of a complete cardiac cycle. This is a necessary step for automatic quantification of cardiac function using echo images, The proposed method is a "center-based" approach in which epicardial and endocardial boundary edge points are searched for on radial lines emanating from the LV center point. The central point of the LV cavity is estimated using a fuzzy-based technique in which the "uncertain" spatial, morphological, and intensity information of the image are represented as fuzzy sets and then combined by fuzzy operators. Edge-detection stage uses multiscale spatial and temporal information in a fuzzy multiresolution framework to identify a single moving edge point for each one of the epicardial and endocardial boundaries over the M radii in the N frames of a complete cardiac cycle. The raw extracted edge points are then processed in the wavelet domain to reduce the effects of noise from the boundaries and papillary muscles from the endocardial boundary extraction process. Finally, a uniform cubic B-spline approximation method is used to define the closed LV boundaries. Experiments with simulated and real echocardiographic images are presented.
Date of Publication: Nov. 1999