M. Bologna, S. Migliori, E. Montin, R. Rampat, G. Dubini, F. Migliavacca, L. Mainardi, C. Chiastra

Automatic segmentation of optical coherence tomography pullbacks of coronary arteries treated with bioresorbable vascular scaffolds: Application to hemodynamics modeling

Medical Imaging Analysis and Diagnostics

Automatic algorithms for stent struts segmentation in optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of coronary arteries have been developed over the years, particularly with application on metallic stents. The aim of this study is three-fold: (1) to develop and to validate a segmentation algorithm for the detection of both lumen contours and polymeric bioresorbable scaffold struts from 8-bit OCT images, (2) to develop a method for automatic OCT pullback quality assessment, and (3) to demonstrate the applicability of the segmentation algorithm for the creation of patient-specific stented coronary artery for local hemodynamics analysis.

The proposed OCT segmentation algorithm comprises four steps: (1) image pre-processing, (2) lumen segmentation, (3) stent struts segmentation, (4) strut-based lumen correction. This segmentation process is then followed by an automatic OCT pullback image quality assessment. This method classifies the OCT pullback image quality as ‘good’ or ‘poor’ based on the number of regions detected by the stent segmentation. The segmentation algorithm was validated against manual segmentation of 1150 images obtained from 23 in vivo OCT pullbacks.

When considering the entire set of OCT pullbacks, lumen segmentation showed results comparable with manual segmentation and with previous studies (sensitivity ~97%, specificity ~99%), while stent segmentation showed poorer results compared to manual segmentation (sensitivity ~63%, precision ~83%). The OCT pullback quality assessment algorithm classified 7 pullbacks as ‘poor’ quality cases. When considering only the ‘good’ classified cases, the performance indexes of the scaffold segmentation were higher (sensitivity >76%, precision >86%).

This study proposes a segmentation algorithm for the detection of lumen contours and stent struts in low quality OCT images of patients treated with polymeric bioresorbable scaffolds. The segmentation results were successfully used for the reconstruction of one coronary artery model that included a bioresorbable scaffold geometry for computational fluid dynamics analysis.

This article is authored also by Synbrain data scientists and collaborators. READ THE FULL ARTICLE