Analysis of arterial sub-trees affected by Pulmonary Emboli
Kiraly, Atilla P.
Naidich, David P.
Novak, Carol L.
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Although Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is one of the most common causes of unexpected death in the U.S., it may also be one of the most preventable. Images acquired from 16-slice Computed Tomography (CT) machines of contrast-injected patients provide sufficient resolution for the localization and analysis of emboli located in segmental and sub-segmental arteries. After a PE is found, it is difficult to assess the local characteristics of the affected arterial tree without automation. We propose a method to compute characteristics of the local arterial tree given the location of a PE. The computed information localizes the portion of the arterial tree that is affected by the embolism. Our method is based on the segmentation of the arteries and veins followed by a localized tree computation at the given site. The method determines bifurcation points and the remaining arterial tree. A preliminary segmentation method is also demonstrated to locally eliminate over-segmentation of the arterial tree. The final result can then be used assess the affected lung volume and arterial supply. Initial tests revealed a good ability to compute local tree characteristics of selected sites.