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Cardiac Motion Analysis Based on Optical Flow on Real-Time Three-Dimensional Ultrasound Data

Duan, Qi; Angelini, Elsa D.; Gerard, Olivier; Costa, Kevin D.; Holmes, Jeffrey W.; Homma, Shunichi; Laine, Andrew F.

With relatively high frame rates and the ability to acquire volume data sets with a stationary transducer, 3D ultrasound systems, based on matrix phased array transducers, provide valuable three-dimensional information, from which quantitative measures of cardiac function can be extracted. Such analyses require segmentation and visual tracking of the left ventricular endocardial border. Due to the large size of the volumetric data sets, manual tracing of the endocardial border is tedious and impractical for clinical applications. Therefore the development of automatic methods for tracking three-dimensional endocardial motion is essential. In this study, we evaluate a four-dimensional optical flow motion tracking algorithm to determine its capability to follow the endocardial border in three dimensional ultrasound data through time. The four-dimensional optical flow method was implemented using three-dimensional correlation. We tested the algorithm on an experimental open-chest dog data set and a clinical data set acquired with a Philips' iE33 three-dimensional ultrasound machine. Initialized with left ventricular endocardial data points obtained from manual tracing at end-diastole, the algorithm automatically tracked these points frame by frame through the whole cardiac cycle. Finite element surfaces were fitted through the data points obtained by both optical flow tracking and manual tracing by an experienced observer for quantitative comparison of the results. Parameterization of the finite element surfaces was performed and maps displaying relative differences between the manual and semi-automatic methods were compared. The results showed good consistency with less than 10% difference between manual tracing and optical flow estimation on 73% of the entire surface. In addition, the optical flow motion tracking algorithm greatly reduced processing time (about 94% reduction compared to human involvement per cardiac cycle) for analyzing cardiac function in three-dimensional ultrasound data sets. A displacement field was computed from the optical flow output, and a framework for computation of dynamic cardiac information is introduced. The method was applied to a clinical data set from a heart transplant patient and dynamic measurements agreed with known physiology as well as experimental results.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Biomedical Engineering
Published Here
August 19, 2010


Advances in diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound imaging (Boston ; London : Artech House, 2008), pp. 227-246.