Vessel Extraction in Medical Images by Wave-Propagation and Traceback
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This paper presents an approach for the extraction of vasculature from angiography images by using a wave propagation and traceback mechanism. We discuss both the theory and the implementation of the approach. Using a dual-sigmoidal filter, we label each pixel in an angiogram with the likelihood that it is within a vessel. Representing the reciprocal of this likelihood image as an array of refractive indexes, we propagate a digital wave through the image from the base of the vascular tree. This wave "washes" over the vasculature, ignoring local noise perturbations. The extraction of the vasculature becomes that of tracing the wave along the local normals to the waveform. While the approach is inherently single instruction stream multiple data stream (SIMD), we present an efficient sequential algorithm for the wave propagation and discuss the traceback algorithm. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our integer image neighborhood-based algorithm and its robustness to image noise.
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