Automatic segmentation of coronary arteries using a multiscale Top-Hat operator and multiobjective optimizationSegmentación automática de arterias coronarias utilizando un operador Top-Hat multiescala y optimización multiobjetivo

Abstract This paper presents a new coronary artery segmentation method in X-ray angiographic images consisting of two stages. In the first stage, a multiscale top-hat operator based on the properties of the Hessian matrix is introduced to enhance vessel-like structures in the angiogram. The results of the proposed multiscale top-hat operator are compared with multiscale methods based on Gaussian matched filters, Hessian matrix and morphological operators, and analyzed using the area (Az) under the receiver operating characteristic curve. In the second stage, a new thresholding method based on multiobjective optimization following the weighted sum approach to classify vessel and nonvessel pixels is presented. The performance of the multiobjective method is compared with seven automatic thresholding methods using the ground-truth angiograms drawn by a specialist with the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy measures. Finally, the proposed method is compared with five state-of-the-art vessel segmentation methods. The vessel enhancement results using the multiscale top-hat operator demonstrated the highest accuracy with Az = 0.942 with a training set of 40 angiograms and Az = 0.965 with a test set of 40 angiograms. The results of coronary artery segmentation using the multiobjective thresholding method provided an average accuracy performance of 0.923 with the test set of angiograms.

Resumen En este artículo se presenta un nuevo método de segmentación de arterias coronarias en imágenes angiográficas de rayos X consistente en dos etapas. En la primera etapa, un operador top-hat multiescala basado en las propiedades de la matriz Hessiana es introducido para realzar estructuras con forma arterial en el angiograma. Los resultados del operador top-hat multiescala propuesto son comparados con métodos multiescala basados en filtros de correspondencia Gaussiana, matriz Hessiana y operadores morfológicos, los cuales son analizados usando el área (Az) bajo la curva característica operativa del receptor. En la segunda etapa, un nuevo método de umbralización basado en optimización multiobjetivo mediante la aproximación de la suma ponderada para clasificar pixeles arteriales y no arteriales es presentado. El desempeño del método multiobjetivo es comparado con siete métodos de umbralización automática utilizando angiogramas delineados por un especialista mediante las medidas de sensibilidad, especificidad y exactitud. Finalmente, el método propuesto es comparado con cinco métodos de segmentación arterial pertenecientes al estado del arte. Los resultados de realzado arterial mediante el operador top-hat multiescala demostraron la mejor exactitud con Az = 0.942 usando un conjunto de entrenamiento de 40 angiogramas y Az = 0.965 con un conjunto de prueba independiente de 40 angiogramas. Los resultados de segmentación de arterias coronarias usando el método de umbralización multiobjetivo proporcionaron un desempeño promedio de 0.923 con el conjunto de prueba de angiogramas.

    • segmentación automática;
    • angiogramas coronarios;
    • matriz Hessiana;
    • umbralización multiobjetivo;
    • realzado arterial;
    • Automatic segmentation;
    • coronary angiograms;
    • Hessian matrix;
    • multiobjective thresholding;
    • vessel enhancement.


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