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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 1997 Dec;16(6):820-7.

Accurate measurement of intrathoracic airways.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA. joe-reinhardt@uiowa.edu

Abstract

Airway geometry measurements can provide information regarding pulmonary physiology and pathophysiology. There has been considerable interest in measuring intrathoracic airways in two-dimensional (2-D) slices from volumetric X-ray computed tomography (CT). Such measurements can be used to evaluate and track the progression of diseases affecting the airways. A popular airway measurement method uses the "half-max" criteria, in which the gray level at the airway wall is estimated to be halfway between the minimum and maximum gray levels along a ray crossing the edge. However, because the scanning process introduces blurring, the half-max approach may not be applicable across all airway sizes. We propose a new measurement method based on a model of the scanning process. In our approach, we examine the gray-level profile of a ray crossing the airway wall and use a maximum-likelihood method to estimate the airway inner and outer radius. Using CT scans of a physical phantom, we present results showing that the new approach is more accurate than the half-max method at estimating wall location for thin-walled airways.

PMID:
9533582
DOI:
10.1109/42.650878
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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