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20 April 2000 Separation of artery and vein in contrast-enhanced MRA images
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This paper presents a near automatic process for separating vessels from background and other clutter as well as for separating arteries and veins in contrast-enhanced MR angiographic (CE-MRA) images, and an optimal method for the 3D visualization of vascular structures. The anatomic separation process utilizes fuzzy connected object delineation principles and algorithms. Its first step is the segmentation of the entire vessel structure from the background and other clutter via absolute fuzzy connectedness. Its second step is to separate artery from vein within this entire vessel structure via relative fuzzy connectedness. After 'seed' points are specified inside artery and vein in the vessel-only image, the regions of the bigger aspects of artery and vein are separated in the initial iteration. Further regions are added with subsequent iterations so that the detailed aspects of artery and vein are included in later iterations. This approach has been applied to EPIX Medical Inc's CE-MRA data. 3D images/movies of vessels, arteries, and veins have been created. Shell renditions are colored differently for arteries and veins in a composite display. This approach can produce separated artery and vein images with high quality, reliability, and minimal user interaction, in a clinical setting. All case studies were performed on a Gateway Pentium PC under Linux, and the whole procedure per study was completed in a few minutes.
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Tianhu Lei, Jayaram K. Udupa, Punam K. Saha, and Dewey Odhner "Separation of artery and vein in contrast-enhanced MRA images", Proc. SPIE 3978, Medical Imaging 2000: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images, (20 April 2000);

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