Automated 3D measurements of the aortic length using the Hough transform
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KeywordsAortic Arch Pulse Wave Velocity Aortic Stiffness Single View Sagittal Slice
A 3D estimation of the length of the aortic arch using sagittal and axial acquisitions is proposed and compared with the conventional 2D method using a single view of the aorta.
The aortic length is required to accurately estimate the Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV), which is an important index of aortic stiffness. Moreover, both the aortic length and the PWV are modified with age. The 3D approach was motivated to better take into account the geometry of the arch.
The conventional 2D method is based on a single view of the aorta which is combined with phase contrast acquisitions to define the starting and stopping points of the arch, where velocities are measured. For the 3D measurement, SSFP axial and sagittal slices including the aortic arch are considered. Two operators measured the 3D length of the arch by delimiting markers on the different views. The visual control was supplemented by a 3D representation of the arch. Independently, the Hough transform adapted to circular shapes was used to define the lumen centers on the same views and to thus automatically define markers in the aortic arch.
The automated procedure is fast, efficient, and robust. Its incorporation into the ART-FUN software platform could help in a larger automation of functional and morphological analysis of the aortic arch. To further improve the estimation of the aortic length, registration strategies are under investigation to compensate for possible misalignments between the successive apneas that are required for the different acquisitions.
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