Scale-space for empty catheter segmentation in PCI fluoroscopic images

  • Ketan BacchuwarEmail author
  • Jean Cousty
  • Régis Vaillant
  • Laurent Najman
Original Article



In this article, we present a method for empty guiding catheter segmentation in fluoroscopic X-ray images. The guiding catheter, being a commonly visible landmark, its segmentation is an important and a difficult brick for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) procedure modeling.


In number of clinical situations, the catheter is empty and appears as a low contrasted structure with two parallel and partially disconnected edges. To segment it, we work on the level-set scale-space of image, the min tree, to extract curve blobs. We then propose a novel structural scale-space, a hierarchy built on these curve blobs. The deep connected component, i.e. the cluster of curve blobs on this hierarchy, that maximizes the likelihood to be an empty catheter is retained as final segmentation.


We evaluate the performance of the algorithm on a database of 1250 fluoroscopic images from 6 patients. As a result, we obtain very good qualitative and quantitative segmentation performance, with mean precision and recall of 80.48 and 63.04% respectively.


We develop a novel structural scale-space to segment a structured object, the empty catheter, in challenging situations where the information content is very sparse in the images. Fully-automatic empty catheter segmentation in X-ray fluoroscopic images is an important and preliminary step in PCI procedure modeling, as it aids in tagging the arrival and removal location of other interventional tools.


Segmentation Percutaneous coronary intervention Mathematical morphology Modeling interventional processes Guiding catheter 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ketan Bacchuwar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jean Cousty
    • 2
  • Régis Vaillant
    • 1
  • Laurent Najman
    • 2
  1. 1.GE-HealthcareBucFrance
  2. 2.Université Paris-Est, LIGM (UMR 8049), CNRS, ENPC, ESIEE Paris, UPEMMarne-la-ValléeFrance

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