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Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) provides direct depiction of coronary artery anatomy, including plaque and vessel area, which is important in quantitative studies on the progression or regression of coronary artery disease. Traditionally, these studies have relied on manual evaluation, which is laborious, time consuming, and subject to large interobserver and intraobserver variability. A new technique, called active surface segmentation, alleviates these limitations and makes strides toward routine analyses. However, for three-dimensional (3-D) plaque assessment or 3-D reconstruction to become a clinical reality, methods must be developed which can analyze many images quickly. Presented is a comparison between two active surface techniques for three-dimensional segmentation of luminal and medial-adventitial borders. The force-acceleration technique and the neighborhood-search technique accurately detected both borders in vivo (r 2=0.95 and 0.99, Williams' index=0.67 and 0.65, and r 2=0.95 and 0.99, WI=0.67 and 0.70, respectively). However, the neighborhood-search technique was significantly faster and required less computation. Volume calculations for both techniques (r 2=0.99 and r 2=0.99) also agreed with a known-volume phantom. Active surface segmentation allows 3-D assessment of coronary morphology and further developments with this technology will provide clinical analysis tools.