Dongxiang Xu1, Jinnan Wang2, Williams Kerwin1, Chun Yuan1
1Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States; 2Philips Research North America, Jinnan.Wang@philips.com, Seattle, WA, United States
Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) into the carotid atherosclerotic plaque has shown significant association with clinical symptoms and is believed to be a major factor causing plaque instability and progression according to previous histopathological and prospective studies. With the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in clinical diagnostics, several techniques have been developed to enable and improve the IPH evaluation. However, automated hemorrhage detection has been challenging due to either low IPH contrast or poor lumen contrast. Purpose: In this study, by incorporating the improved IPH and lumen contrasts in Slab-selection Phase-sensitive Inversion-recovery (SPI) MRI sequence, we develop a novel and robust image segmentation approach to automatically locate and delineate IPH in MR data. Quantitative IPH and lumen analysis results by this automatic segmentation technique were compared to a human reader, which demonstrated highly consistent performance.