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15 March 2006 Automatic tracking of neuro vascular tree paths
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3-D analysis of blood vessels from volumetric CT and MR datasets has many applications ranging from examination of pathologies such as aneurysm and calcification to measurement of cross-sections for therapy planning. Segmentation of the vascular structures followed by tracking is an important processing step towards automating the 3-D vessel analysis workflow. This paper demonstrates a fast and automated algorithm for tracking the major arterial structures that have been previously segmented. Our algorithm uses anatomical knowledge to identify the start and end points in the vessel structure that allows automation. Voxel coding scheme is used to code every voxel in the vessel based on its geodesic distance from the start point. A shortest path based iterative region growing is used to extract the vessel tracks that are subsequently smoothed using an active contour method. The algorithm also has the ability to automatically detect bifurcation points of major arteries. Results are shown for tracking the major arteries such as the common carotid, internal carotid, vertebrals, and arteries coming off the Circle of Willis across multiple cases with various data related and pathological challenges from 7 CTA cases and 2 MR Time of Flight (TOF) cases.
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S. Suryanarayanan, A. Gopinath, Y. Mallya, K. S. Shriram, and M. Joshi "Automatic tracking of neuro vascular tree paths", Proc. SPIE 6144, Medical Imaging 2006: Image Processing, 61444N (15 March 2006);

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