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Completely automated robust edge snapper for carotid ultrasound IMT measurement on a multi-institutional database of 300 images

Completely automated robust edge snapper for carotid ultrasound IMT measurement on a multi-institutional database of 300 images,10.1007/s11517-011-078

Completely automated robust edge snapper for carotid ultrasound IMT measurement on a multi-institutional database of 300 images  
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The carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is the most used marker for the progression of atherosclerosis and onset of cardiovascular diseases. Computer-aided measurements improve accuracy and precision, but usually require user interaction. In this paper we characterized a new and completely automated technique for carotid segmentation and IMT measurement based on the merits of two previously developed techniques. We used an integrated approach of intelligent image feature extraction and line fitting for automatically locating the carotid artery in the image frame, followed by wall interfaces extraction based on a Gaussian edge operator. We called our system—CARES. We validated CARES on a multi-institutional database of 300 carotid ultrasound images. The IMT measurement bias was 0.032 ± 0.141 mm. Our novel approach of CARES processed 96% of the images in the database taken from two different institutions. In order to evaluate its performance, the figure-of-merit (FoM) was defined as the percent ratio between the average IMT computed by CARES and the one obtained from manual tracings by expert sonographers. The estimated FoM by CARES was 95.7%. Comparing the IMT bias of CARES with our previously published method CALEX that showed an IMT bias equal to 0.099 ± 0.137 mm, CARES improved the IMT accuracy by 67%, while increasing the standard deviation by 3%. CARES could be a useful research tool for processing large datasets in multi-center studies involving atherosclerosis.
Journal: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing - MED BIOL ENG COMPUT , vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 935-945, 2011
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