Image feature analysis and computer-aided diagnosis in digital radiography. 2. Computerized determination of vessel sizes in digital subtraction angiography

Med Phys. 1987 Jul-Aug;14(4):549-56. doi: 10.1118/1.596066.


We developed an iterative deconvolution technique to determine the size of a "blurred" vessel in a digital subtraction angiographic (DSA) image by taking into account the unsharpness of the DSA system. Initially, a region of interest over a small segment of the contrast-filled vessel was selected in a DSA image, and the center line of the opacified vessel was determined by polynomial curve fitting of the locations of the peak pixel values along the vessel image. The blurred image profile was then obtained from pixel values across the vessel in a direction perpendicular to the center line. This measured profile was compared iteratively with a calculated profile for various size vessels, which was obtained from a cylindrical vessel model and from the line spread function, until the root-mean-square difference between the two profiles was minimized. The size of a cylindrical vessel yielding the matched profile was considered the best estimate of the unknown vessel size. Studies with a blood vessel phantom indicated that vessels larger than 0.5 mm could be measured with an accuracy and precision of approximately 0.1 mm, which is about 1/3 of the pixel size used in our DSA system. Details of our approach and some clinical vessel images with and without simulated stenotic lesions are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / instrumentation
  • Angiography / methods*
  • Blood Vessels / anatomy & histology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic