Segmentation of Multiple Heart Cavities in 3-D Transesophageal Ultrasound Images

Haak, Alexander, Vegas-Sanchez-Ferrero, Gonzalo, Mulder, Harriet W., Ren, Ben, Kirisli, Hortense A., Metz, Coert, van Burken, Gerard, van Stralen, M, Pluim, JPW, van der Steen, Antonius F. W., van Walsum, Theo, Bosch, Johannes G.


Ieee transactions on ultrasonics ferroelectrics and frequency control 62 (6), p. 1179-1189


Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is an excellent modality for real-time visualization of the heart and monitoring of interventions. To improve the usability of 3-D TEE for intervention monitoring and catheter guidance, automated segmentation is desired. However, 3-D TEE segmentation is still a challenging task due to the complex anatomy with multiple cavities, the limited TEE field of view, and typical ultrasound artifacts. We propose to segment all cavities within the TEE view with a multi-cavity active shape model (ASM) in conjunction with a tissue/blood classification based on a gamma mixture model (GMM). 3-D TEE image data of twenty patients were acquired with a Philips X7-2t matrix TEE probe. Tissue probability maps were estimated by a two-class (blood/tissue) GMM. A statistical shape model containing the left ventricle, right ventricle, left atrium, right atrium, and aorta was derived from computed tomography angiography (CTA) segmentations by principal component analysis. ASMs of the whole heart and individual cavities were generated and consecutively fitted to tissue probability maps. First, an average whole-heart model was aligned with the 3-D TEE based on three manually indicated anatomical landmarks. Second, pose and shape of the whole-heart ASM were fitted by a weighted update scheme excluding parts outside of the image sector. Third, pose and shape of ASM for individual heart cavities were initialized by the previous whole heart ASM and updated in a regularized manner to fit the tissue probability maps. The ASM segmentations were validated against manual outlines by two observers and CTA derived segmentations. Dice coefficients and point-to-surface distances were used to determine segmentation accuracy. ASM segmentations were successful in 19 of 20 cases. The median Dice coefficient for all successful segmentations versus the average observer ranged from 90% to 71% compared with an inter-observer range of 95% to 84%. The agreement against the CTA segmentations was slightly lower with a median Dice coefficient between 85% and 57%. In this work, we successfully showed the accuracy and robustness of the proposed multi-cavity segmentation scheme. This is a promising development for intraoperative procedure guidance, e.g., in cardiac electrophysiology.