Segmentation in Echocardiographic Sequences Using Shape-based Snake Model

keywords: Echocardiographic sequence, snake, generalized hough transformation, template matching
A method for segmentation of cardiac structures especially for mitral valve in echocardiographic sequences is presented. The method is motivated by the observation that the structures of neighboring frames have consistent locations and shapes that aid in segmentation. To cooperate with the constraining information provided by the neighboring frames, we combine the template matching with the conventional snake model. It means that the model not only is driven by conventional internal and external forces, but also combines an additional constraint, the matching degree to measure the similarity between the neighboring prior shape and the derived contour. Furthermore, in order to automatically or semi-automatically segment the sequent images without manually drawing the initial contours in each image, generalized Hough transformation (GHT) is used to roughly estimate the initial contour by transforming the neighboring prior shape. Based on the experiments on forty sequences, the method is particularly useful in case of the large frame-to-frame displacement of structure such as mitral valve. As a result, the active contour can easily detect the desirable boundaries in ultrasound images and has a high penetrability through the interference of various undesirables, such as the speckle, the tissue-related textures and the artifacts.
reference: Vol. 27, 2008, No. 3, pp. 423–435