Analysis and Multi-Modal Fusion of Coronary Images
Place: Large Lecture Room, Computer Vision Center
Affiliation: Computer Vision Center, Barcelona. Spain
The framework of this thesis is to study in detail different techniques and tools for medical image registration in order to ease the daily life of clinical experts in cardiology. The first aim of this thesis is providing computer tools for fusing IVUS and angiogram data is of high clinical interest to help the physicians locate in IVUS data and decide which lesion is observed, how long it is, how far from a bifurcation or another lesions stays, etc. This thesis proves and validates that we can segment the catheter path in angiographies using geodesic snakes (based on fast marching algorithm), a three-dimensional reconstruction of the catheter inspired in stereo vision and a new technique to fuse IVUS and angiograms that establishes exact correspondences between them. We have developed a new workstation called iFusion that has four strong advantages: registration of IVUS and angiographic images with sub-pixel precision, it works on- and off-line, it is independent on the X-ray system and there is no need of daily calibration. The second aim of the thesis is devoted to developing a computer-aided analysis of IVUS for image-guided intervention. We have designed, implemented and validated a robust algorithm for stent extraction and reconstruction from IVUS videos. We consider a very special and recent kind of stents, bioabsorbable stents that represent a great clinical challenge due to their property to be absorbed by time and thus avoiding the "danger" of neostenosis as one of the main problems of metallic stents. We present a new and very promising algorithm based on an optimized cascade of multiple classifiers to automatically detect individual stent struts of a very novel bioabsorbable drug eluting coronary stent. This problem represents a very challenging target given the variability in contrast, shape and grey levels of the regions to be detected, what is denoted by the high variability between the specialists (inter-observer variability of 0.14 ±0.12). The obtained results of the automatic strut detection are within the inter-observer variability.