Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an established catheter-based imaging modality for the assessment of coronary artery disease and the guidance of stent placement during percutaneous coronary intervention. Manual analysis of large OCT datasets for vessel contours or stent struts detection is time-consuming and unsuitable for real-time applications. In this study, a fully automatic method was developed for detection of both vessel contours and stent struts. The method was applied to in vitro OCT scans of eight stented silicone bifurcation phantoms for validation purposes. The proposed algorithm comprised four main steps, namely pre-processing, lumen border detection, stent strut detection, and three-dimensional point cloud creation. The algorithm was validated against manual segmentation performed by two independent image readers. Linear regression showed good agreement between automatic and manual segmentations in terms of lumen area (r>0.99). No statistically significant differences in the number of detected struts were found between the segmentations. Mean values of similarity indexes were >95% and >85% for the lumen and stent detection, respectively. Stent point clouds of two selected cases, obtained after OCT image processing, were compared to the centerline points of the corresponding stent reconstructions from micro computed tomography, used as ground-truth. Quantitative comparison between the corresponding stent points resulted in median values of ~150 μm and ~40 μm for the total and radial distances of both cases, respectively. The repeatability of the detection method was investigated by calculating the lumen volume and the mean number of detected struts per frame for seven repeated OCT scans of one selected case. Results showed low deviation of values from the median for both analyzed quantities. In conclusion, this study presents a robust automatic method for detection of lumen contours and stent struts from OCT as supported by focused validation against both manual segmentation and micro computed tomography and by good repeatability.
This article is authored also by Synbrain data scientists and collaborators. READ THE FULL ARTICLE