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14 April 2005 Automatic extraction of the pulmonary artery tree from multi-slice CT data
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The purpose of this paper is to present an automated method for the extraction of the pulmonary vessel tree from multi-slice CT data. Furthermore we investigate a method for the separation of pulmonary arteries from veins. The vessel tree extraction is performed by a seed-point based front-propagation algorithm. This algorithm is based on a similar methodology as the bronchial tree segmentation and coronary artery tree extraction methods presented at earlier SPIE conferences. Our method for artery/vein separation is based upon the fact that the pulmonary artery tree accompanies the bronchial tree. For each extracted vessel segment, we evaluate a measure of "arterialness". This measure combines two components: a method for identifying candidate positions for a bronchus running in the vicinity of a given vessel on the one hand and a co-orientation measure for the vessel segment and bronchus candidates. The latter component rewards vessels running parallel to a nearby bronchus. The spatial orientation of vessel segments and bronchi is estimated by applying the structure tensor to the local gray-value neighbourhood. In our experiments we used multi slice CT datasets of the lung acquired by Philips IDT 16-slice, and Philips Brilliance 40-slice scanners. It can be shown that the proposed measure reduces the number of pulmonary veins falsely included into the arterial tree.
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Thomas Buelow, Rafael Wiemker, Thomas Blaffert, Cristian Lorenz, and Steffen Renisch "Automatic extraction of the pulmonary artery tree from multi-slice CT data", Proc. SPIE 5746, Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, (14 April 2005);

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