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J Digit Imaging. 1998 Feb;11(1):10-20.

Left-ventricle boundary detection from nuclear medicine images.

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Computer Graphics Center at North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7914, USA.


We present here a new algorithm for segmentation of nuclear medicine images to detect the left-ventricle (LV) boundary. In this article, other image segmentation techniques, such as edge detection and region growing, are also compared and evaluated. In the edge detection approach, we explored the relationship between the LV boundary characteristics in nuclear medicine images and their radial orientations: we observed that no single brightness function (eg, maximum of first or second derivative) is sufficient to identify the boundary in every direction. In the region growing approach, several criteria, including intensity change, gradient magnitude change, gradient direction change, and running mean differences, were tested. We found that none of these criteria alone was sufficient to successfully detect the LV boundary. Then we proposed a simple but successful region growing method--Contour-Modified Region Growing (CMRG). CMRG is an easy-to-use, robust, and rapid image segmentation procedure. Based on our experiments, this method seems to perform quite well in comparison to other automated methods that we have tested because of its ability to handle the problems of both low signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) as well as low image contrast without any assumptions about the shape of the left ventricle.

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