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Segmentation of vessel-like patterns using mathematical morphology and curvature evaluation

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2 Author(s)
Zana, F. ; Centre de Morphologie Math., Ecole des Mines de Paris, Valbonne, France ; Klein, J.-C.

This paper presents an algorithm based on mathematical morphology and curvature evaluation for the detection of vessel-like patterns in a noisy environment. Such patterns are very common in medical images. Vessel detection is interesting for the computation of parameters related to blood flow. Its tree-like geometry makes it a usable feature for registration between images that can be of a different nature. In order to define vessel-like patterns, segmentation is performed with respect to a precise model. We define a vessel as a bright pattern, piece-wise connected, and locally linear, mathematical morphology is very well adapted to this description, however other patterns fit such a morphological description. In order to differentiate vessels from analogous background patterns, a cross-curvature evaluation is performed. They are separated out as they have a specific Gaussian-like profile whose curvature varies smoothly along the vessel. The detection algorithm that derives directly from this modeling is based on four steps: (1) noise reduction; (2) linear pattern with Gaussian-like profile improvement; (3) cross-curvature evaluation; (4) linear filtering. We present its theoretical background and illustrate it on real images of various natures, then evaluate its robustness and its accuracy with respect to noise

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Image Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 7 )