Automatic segmentation of calcified plaques and vessel borders in IVUS images

Arash Taki, Zahra Najafi, Alireza Roodaki, S. K. Setarehdan, R. A. Zoroofi, Andreas Konig, Nassir Navab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Objective: Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a diagnostic imaging technique for tomographic visualization of coronary arteries. Automatic analysis of IVUS images is difficult due to speckle noise, artifacts of the catheter, and shadows generated by calcifications. We designed and implemented a system for automated segmentation of coronary artery IVUS images. Methods: Two methods for automatic detection of the intima and the media-adventitia borders in IVUS coronary artery images were developed and compared. The first method uses the parametric deformable models, while the second method is based on the geometric deformable models. The initial locations of the borders are approximated using two different edge detection methods. The final borders are then defined using the two deformable models. Finally, the calcified regions between the extracted borders are identified using a Bayesian classifier. The performance of the proposed methods was evaluated using 60 different IVUS images obtained from 7 patients. Results: Segmented images were compared with manually outlined contours. We compared the performance of calcified region characterization methods using ROC analysis and by computing the sensitivity and specificity of the Bayesian classifier, thresholding, adaptive thresholding, and textural features. The Bayesian method performed best. Conclusion: The results shows that the geometric deformable model outperforms the parametric deformable model for automated segmentation of IVUS coronary artery images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Border detection
  • Deformable models
  • IVUS
  • Plaque characterization


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