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Semiautomatic vessel wall detection and quantification of wall thickness in computed tomography images of human abdominal aortic aneurysms
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2010 (English)In: Medical physics (Lancaster), ISSN 0094-2405, Vol. 37, no 2, 638-648 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Quantitative measurements of wall thickness in human abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) may lead to more accurate methods for the evaluation of their biomechanical environment. Methods: The authors describe an algorithm for estimating wall thickness in AAAs based on intensity histograms and neural networks involving segmentation of contrast enhanced abdominal computed tomography images. The algorithm was applied to ten ruptured and ten unruptured AAA image data sets. Two vascular surgeons manually segmented the lumen, inner wall, and outer wall of each data set and a reference standard was defined as the average of their segmentations. Reproducibility was determined by comparing the reference standard to lumen contours generated automatically by the algorithm and a commercially available software package. Repeatability was assessed by comparing the lumen, outer wall, and inner wall contours, as well as wall thickness, made by the two surgeons using the algorithm. Results: There was high correspondence between automatic and manual measurements for the lumen area (r=0.978 and r=0.996 for ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, respectively) and between vascular surgeons (r=0.987 and r=0.992 for ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, respectively). The authors' automatic algorithm showed better results when compared to the reference with an average lumen error of 3.69%, which is less than half the error between the commercially available application Simpleware and the reference (7.53%). Wall thickness measurements also showed good agreement between vascular surgeons with average coefficients of variation of 10.59% (ruptured aneurysms) and 13.02% (unruptured aneurysms). Ruptured aneurysms exhibit significantly thicker walls (1.78±0.39 mm) than unruptured ones (1.48±0.22 mm), p=0.044. Conclusions: While further refinement is needed to fully automate the outer wall segmentation algorithm, these preliminary results demonstrate the method's adequate reproducibility and low interobserver variability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 37, no 2, 638-648 p.
Keyword [en]
Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Automatic segmentation algorithm, Biomechanics, Computed tomography, Wall thickness
National Category
Medical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-71876DOI: 10.1118/1.3284976ISI: 000274075600025ScopusID: 2-s2.0-75749145156OAI: diva2:487055
QC 20120131Available from: 2012-01-31 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved

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