A hybrid graph-based approach for right ventricle segmentation in cardiac MRI by long axis information transition

Right ventricle segmentation is a challenging task in cardiac image analysis due to its complex anatomy and huge shape variations.

In this paper, we proposed a semi-automatic approach by incorporating the right ventricle region and shape information into livewire framework and using one slice segmentation result for the segmentation of adjacent slices. The region term is created using our previously proposed region growing algorithm combined with the SUSAN edge detector while the shape prior is obtained by forming a signed distance function (SDF) from a set of binary masks of the right ventricle and applying PCA on them.

Short axis slices are divided into two groups: primary and secondary slices. A primary slice is segmented by the proposed modified livewire and the livewire seeds are transited to a pre-processed version of upper and lower slices (secondary) to find new seed positions in these slices. The shortest path algorithm is applied on each pair of seeds for segmentation. This method is applied on 48 MR patients (from MICCAI’12 Right Ventricle Segmentation Challenge) and yielded an average Dice Metric of 0.937 ± 0.58 and the Hausdorff Distance of 5.16 ± 2.88mm for endocardium segmentation.

The correlation with the ground truth contours was measured as 0.99, 0.98, and 0.93 for EDV, ESV and EF respectively. The qualitative and quantitative results declare that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods that use the same dataset and the cardiac global functional parameters are calculated robustly by the proposed method.

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