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J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 Apr;5(2):024002. doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.5.2.024002. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Development and clinical validation of a hybrid method for semiautomated left ventricle endocardial and epicardial boundary extraction on cine-magnetic resonance images.

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Aboubakr Belkaid University, Biomedical Engineering Department, Tlemcen, Algeria.
Montpellier University Hospital, Nuclear Medicine Department, Montpellier, France.


We describe a hybrid method for left ventricle (LV) endocardial and epicardial segmentation on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images requiring minimal operator intervention. Endocardium extraction results from the union of three independent estimations based on adaptive thresholding, region growing, and active contour with Chan-Vese energy function. Epicardium segmentation relies on conditional morphological dilation of the endocardial mask followed by active contour optimization. The proposed method was first evaluated using an open access database of 18 CMR for which expert manual contouring was available. The method was further validated on a retrospective cohort of 29 patients, who underwent CMR with expert manual segmentation. Regarding the open access database, similarity (Dice index) between hybrid and expert segmentations was good for end-diastolic (ED) endocardium (0.92), end-systolic (ES) endocardium (0.88), and ED epicardium (0.92). As for derived LV parameters, concordance (Lin's coefficient) was good for ED volume (0.91), ES volume (0.93), ejection fraction (EF; 0.89), and fair for myocardial mass (MM; 0.74). Regarding the retrospective patient study, concordance between expert and hybrid estimations was excellent for ED volume (0.95), ES volume (0.96), good for EF (0.86), and fair for MM (0.71). Hybrid segmentation resulted in small biases ([Formula: see text] for ED volume, [Formula: see text] for ES volume, [Formula: see text] for EF, and [Formula: see text] for MM) with little clinical relevance and acceptable for routine practice. The quickness and robustness of the proposed hybrid method and its ability to provide LV volumes, functions, and masses highly concordant with those given by expert segmentation support its pertinence for routine clinical use.


cardiac magnetic resonance; endocardium; epicardium; left ventricle segmentation

[Available on 2019-04-11]

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