Vessel size measurements in angiograms: manual measurements

Med Phys. 2003 Apr;30(4):681-8. doi: 10.1118/1.1562491.


Vessel size measurement is perhaps the most often performed quantitative analysis in diagnostic and interventional angiography. Although automated vessel sizing techniques are generally considered to have good accuracy and precision, we have observed that clinicians rarely use these techniques in standard clinical practice, choosing to indicate the edges of vessels and catheters to determine sizes and calibrate magnifications, i.e., manual measurements. Thus, we undertook an investigation of the accuracy and precision of vessel sizes calculated from manually indicated edges of vessels. Manual measurements were performed by three neuroradiologists and three physicists. Vessel sizes ranged from 0.1-3.0 mm in simulation studies and 0.3-6.4 mm in phantom studies. Simulation resolution functions had full-widths-at-half-maximum (FWHM) ranging from 0.0 to 0.5 mm. Phantom studies were performed with 4.5 in., 6 in., 9 in., and 12 in. image intensifier modes, magnification factor = 1, with and without zooming. The accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements ranged from 0.1 to 0.2 mm, depending on vessel size, resolution, and pixel size, and zoom. These results indicate that manual measurements may have accuracies comparable to automated techniques for vessels with sizes greater than 1 mm, but that automated techniques which take into account the resolution function should be used for vessels with sizes smaller than 1 mm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional / methods*
  • Angiography / instrumentation
  • Angiography / methods*
  • Blood Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Observer Variation
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity