Development of a model of the coronary arterial tree for the 4D XCAT phantom.

Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.92). 09/2011; 56(17):5651-63. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/17/012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A detailed three-dimensional (3D) model of the coronary artery tree with cardiac motion has great potential for applications in a wide variety of medical imaging research areas. In this work, we first developed a computer-generated 3D model of the coronary arterial tree for the heart in the extended cardiac-torso (XCAT) phantom, thereby creating a realistic computer model of the human anatomy. The coronary arterial tree model was based on two datasets: (1) a gated cardiac dual-source computed tomography (CT) angiographic dataset obtained from a normal human subject and (2) statistical morphometric data of porcine hearts. The initial proximal segments of the vasculature and the anatomical details of the boundaries of the ventricles were defined by segmenting the CT data. An iterative rule-based generation method was developed and applied to extend the coronary arterial tree beyond the initial proximal segments. The algorithm was governed by three factors: (1) statistical morphometric measurements of the connectivity, lengths and diameters of the arterial segments; (2) avoidance forces from other vessel segments and the boundaries of the myocardium, and (3) optimality principles which minimize the drag force at the bifurcations of the generated tree. Using this algorithm, the 3D computational model of the largest six orders of the coronary arterial tree was generated, which spread across the myocardium of the left and right ventricles. The 3D coronary arterial tree model was then extended to 4D to simulate different cardiac phases by deforming the original 3D model according to the motion vector map of the 4D cardiac model of the XCAT phantom at the corresponding phases. As a result, a detailed and realistic 4D model of the coronary arterial tree was developed for the XCAT phantom by imposing constraints of anatomical and physiological characteristics of the coronary vasculature. This new 4D coronary artery tree model provides a unique simulation tool that can be used in the development and evaluation of instrumentation and methods for imaging normal and pathological hearts with myocardial perfusion defects.

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    ABSTRACT: Many scientists in the field of x-ray imaging rely on the simulation of x-ray images. As the phantom models become more and more realistic, their projection requires high computational effort. Since x-ray images are based on transmission, many standard graphics acceleration algorithms cannot be applied to this task. However, if adapted properly, the simulation speed can be increased dramatically using state-of-the-art graphics hardware. A custom graphics pipeline that simulates transmission projections for tomographic reconstruction was implemented based on moving spline surface models. All steps from tessellation of the splines, projection onto the detector and drawing are implemented in OpenCL. We introduced a special append buffer for increased performance in order to store the intersections with the scene for every ray. Intersections are then sorted and resolved to materials. Lastly, an absorption model is evaluated to yield an absorption value for each projection pixel. Projection of a moving spline structure is fast and accurate. Projections of size 640 × 480 can be generated within 254 ms. Reconstructions using the projections show errors below 1 HU with a sharp reconstruction kernel. Traditional GPU-based acceleration schemes are not suitable for our reconstruction task. Even in the absence of noise, they result in errors up to 9 HU on average, although projection images appear to be correct under visual examination. Projections generated with our new method are suitable for the validation of novel CT reconstruction algorithms. For complex simulations, such as the evaluation of motion-compensated reconstruction algorithms, this kind of x-ray simulation will reduce the computation time dramatically.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 09/2012; 57(19):6193-210. · 2.92 Impact Factor

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