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Model-based morphological segmentation and labeling of coronary angiograms

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6 Author(s)
K. Haris ; Lab. of Med. Inf., Aristotelian Univ. of Thessaloniki, Greece ; S. N. Efstratiadis ; N. Maglaveras ; C. Pappas
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A method for extraction and labeling of the coronary arterial tree (CAT) using minimal user supervision in single-view angiograms is proposed. The CAT structural description (skeleton and borders) is produced, along with quantitative information for the artery dimensions and assignment of coded labels, based on a given coronary artery model represented by a graph. The stages of the method are: (1) CAT tracking and detection; (2) artery skeleton and border estimation; (3) feature graph creation; and (iv) artery labeling by graph matching. The approximate CAT centerline and borders are extracted by recursive tracking based on circular template analysis. The accurate skeleton and borders of each CAT segment are computed, based on morphological homotopy modification and watershed transform. The approximate centerline and borders are used for constructing the artery segment enclosing area (ASEA), where the defined skeleton and border curves are considered as markers. Using the marked ASEA, an artery gradient image is constructed where all the ASEA pixels (except the skeleton ones) are assigned the gradient magnitude of the original image. The artery gradient image markers are imposed as its unique regional minima by the homotopy modification method, the watershed transform is used for extracting the artery segment borders, and the feature graph is updated. Finally, given the created feature graph and the known model graph, a graph matching algorithm assigns the appropriate labels to the extracted CAT using weighted maximal cliques on the association graph corresponding to the two given graphs. Experimental results using clinical digitized coronary angiograms are presented.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 10 )