Purpose: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a catheter-based imaging method that employs near-infrared light to produce high-resolution cross-sectional intravascular images. The authors propose a segmentation technique for automatic lumen area extraction and stent strut detection in intravascular OCT images for the purpose of quantitative analysis of neointimal hyperplasia (NIH).
Methods: A clinical dataset of frequency-domain OCT scans of the human femoral artery was analyzed. First, a segmentation method based on the Markov random field (MRF) model was employed for lumen area identification. Second, textural and edge information derived from local intensity distribution and continuous wavelet transform (CWT) analysis were integrated to extract the inner luminal contour. Finally, the stent strut positions were detected via the introduction of each strut wavelet response across scales into a feature extraction and classification scheme in order to optimize the strut position detection.
Results: The inner lumen contour and the position of stent strut were extracted with very high accuracy. Compared with manual segmentation by an expert vascular physician the automatic segmentation had an average overlap value of 0.937 ± 0.045 for all OCT images included in the study. The strut detection accuracy had an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.95, together with sensitivity and specificity average values of 0.91 and 0.96, respectively.
Conclusions: A robust automatic segmentation technique integrating textural and edge information for vessel lumen border extraction and strut detection in intravascular OCT images was designed and presented. The proposed algorithm may be employed for automated quantitative morphological analysis of in-stent neointimal hyperplasia.