4 years ago

Development of a quantitative intracranial vascular features extraction tool on 3D MRA using semiautomated open-curve active contour vessel tracing

Chun Yuan, Kristi Pimentel, Jie Sun, Thomas S. Hatsukami, Gador Canton, Niranjan Balu, Jenq-Neng Hwang, Mahmud Mossa-Basha, Li Chen
Purpose To develop a quantitative intracranial artery measurement technique to extract comprehensive artery features from time-of-flight MR angiography (MRA). Methods By semiautomatically tracing arteries based on an open-curve active contour model in a graphical user interface, 12 basic morphometric features and 16 basic intensity features for each artery were identified. Arteries were then classified as one of 24 types using prediction from a probability model. Based on the anatomical structures, features were integrated within 34 vascular groups for regional features of vascular trees. Eight 3D MRA acquisitions with intracranial atherosclerosis were assessed to validate this technique. Results Arterial tracings were validated by an experienced neuroradiologist who checked agreement at bifurcation and stenosis locations. This technique achieved 94% sensitivity and 85% positive predictive values (PPV) for bifurcations, and 85% sensitivity and PPV for stenosis. Up to 1,456 features, such as length, volume, and averaged signal intensity for each artery, as well as vascular group in each of the MRA images, could be extracted to comprehensively reflect characteristics, distribution, and connectivity of arteries. Length for the M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery extracted by this technique was compared with reviewer-measured results, and the intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.97. Conclusion A semiautomated quantitative method to trace, label, and measure intracranial arteries from 3D-MRA was developed and validated. This technique can be used to facilitate quantitative intracranial vascular research, such as studying cerebrovascular adaptation to aging and disease conditions. Magn Reson Med, 2017. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/mrm.26961

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