Micro-CT scanners can generate large high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) digital images of small-animal organs, such as rat hearts. Such images enable studies of basic physiologic questions on coronary branching geometry and fluid transport. Performing such an analysis requires three steps: (1) extract the arterial tree from the image; (2) compute quantitative geometric data from the extracted tree; and (3) perform a numerical analysis of the computed data. Because a typical coronary arterial tree consists of hundreds of branches and many generations, it is impractical to perform such an integrated study manually. An automatic method exists for performing step (1), extracting the tree, but little effort has been made on the other two steps. We propose an environment for performing a complete study. Quantitative measures for arterial-lumen cross-sectional area, inter-branch segment length, branch surface area and others at the generation, inter-branch, and intra-branch levels are computed. A human user can then work with the quantitative data in an interactive visualization system. The system provides various forms of viewing and permits interactive tree editing for "on the fly" correction of the quantitative data. We illustrate the methodology for 3D micro-CT rat heart images.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Health Informatics