Fleischmann Lab


  • Photon-counting CT: Technical Principles and Clinical Prospects. Radiology Willemink, M. J., Persson, M., Pourmorteza, A., Pelc, N. J., Fleischmann, D. 2018: 172656


    Photon-counting CT is an emerging technology with the potential to dramatically change clinical CT. Photon-counting CT uses new energy-resolving x-ray detectors, with mechanisms that differ substantially from those of conventional energy-integrating detectors. Photon-counting CT detectors count the number of incoming photons and measure photon energy. This technique results in higher contrast-to-noise ratio, improved spatial resolution, and optimized spectral imaging. Photon-counting CT can reduce radiation exposure, reconstruct images at a higher resolution, correct beam-hardening artifacts, optimize the use of contrast agents, and create opportunities for quantitative imaging relative to current CT technology. In this review, the authors will explain the technical principles of photon-counting CT in nonmathematical terms for radiologists and clinicians. Following a general overview of the current status of photon-counting CT, they will explain potential clinical applications of this technology.

    View details for PubMedID 30179101

  • Acute Limited Intimal Tears of the Thoracic Aorta. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Chin, A. S., Willemink, M. J., Kino, A., Hinostroza, V., Sailer, A. M., Fischbein, M. P., Mitchell, R. S., Berry, G. J., Miller, D. C., Fleischmann, D. 2018; 71 (24): 2773–85


    Limited intimal tears (LITs) of the aorta (Class 3 dissection variant) are the least common form of aortic pathology in patients presenting with acute aortic syndrome (AAS). LITs are difficult to detect on imaging and may be underappreciated.This study sought to describe the frequency, pathology, treatment, and outcome of LITs compared with other AAS, and to demonstrate that LITs can be detected pre-operatively by contemporary imaging.The authors retrospectively reviewed 497 patients admitted for 513 AAS events at a single academic aortic center between 2003 and 2012. AAS were classified into classic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma, LIT, penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer, and rupturing thoracic aortic aneurysm. The prevalence, pertinent risk factors, and detailed imaging findings with surgical and pathological correlation of LITs are described. Management, early outcomes, and late mortality are reported.Among 497 patients with AAS, the authors identified 24 LITs (4.8% of AAS) in 16 men and 8 women (17 type A, 7 type B). Patients with LITs were older than those with AD, and type A LITs had similarly dilated ascending aortas as type A AD. Three patients presented with rupture. Eleven patients underwent urgent surgical aortic replacement, and 2 patients underwent endovascular repair. Medial degeneration was present in all surgical specimens. In-hospital mortality was 4% (1 of 24), and in total, 5 patients with LIT died subsequently at 1.5 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 0.3 to 2.5 years). Computed tomography imaging detected all but 1 LIT, best visualized on volume-rendered images.LITs are rare acute aortic lesions within the dissection spectrum, with similar presentation, complications, and outcomes compared with AD and intramural hematoma. Awareness of this lesion allows pre-operative diagnosis using high-quality computed tomography angiography.

    View details for PubMedID 29903350

  • Computed Tomography Imaging Features in Acute Uncomplicated Stanford Type-B Aortic Dissection Predict Late Adverse Events CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING Sailer, A. M., Van Kuijk, S. M., Nelemans, P. J., Chin, A. S., Kino, A., Huininga, M., Schmidt, J., Mistelbauer, G., Baeumler, K., Chiu, P., Fischbein, M. P., Dake, M. D., Miller, D. C., Schurink, G. W., Fleischmann, D. 2017; 10 (4)


    Medical treatment of initially uncomplicated acute Stanford type-B aortic dissection is associated with a high rate of late adverse events. Identification of individuals who potentially benefit from preventive endografting is highly desirable.The association of computed tomography imaging features with late adverse events was retrospectively assessed in 83 patients with acute uncomplicated Stanford type-B aortic dissection, followed over a median of 850 (interquartile range 247-1824) days. Adverse events were defined as fatal or nonfatal aortic rupture, rapid aortic growth (>10 mm/y), aneurysm formation (≥6 cm), organ or limb ischemia, or new uncontrollable hypertension or pain. Five significant predictors were identified using multivariable Cox regression analysis: connective tissue disease (hazard ratio [HR] 2.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-6.72; P=0.01), circumferential extent of false lumen in angular degrees (HR 1.03 per degree, 95% CI: 1.01-1.04, P=0.003), maximum aortic diameter (HR 1.10 per mm, 95% CI: 1.02-1.18, P=0.015), false lumen outflow (HR 0.999 per mL/min, 95% CI: 0.998-1.000; P=0.055), and number of intercostal arteries (HR 0.89 per n, 95% CI: 0.80-0.98; P=0.024). A prediction model was constructed to calculate patient specific risk at 1, 2, and 5 years and to stratify patients into high-, intermediate-, and low-risk groups. The model was internally validated by bootstrapping and showed good discriminatory ability with an optimism-corrected C statistic of 70.1%.Computed tomography imaging-based morphological features combined into a prediction model may be able to identify patients at high risk for late adverse events after an initially uncomplicated type-B aortic dissection.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.116.005709

    View details for PubMedID 28360261

  • Prognostic significance of early aortic remodeling in acute uncomplicated type B aortic dissection and intramural hematoma. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery Sailer, A. M., Nelemans, P. J., Hastie, T. J., Chin, A. S., Huininga, M., Chiu, P., Fischbein, M. P., Dake, M. D., Miller, D. C., Schurink, G. W., Fleischmann, D. 2017; 154 (4): 1192–1200


    Patients with Stanford type B aortic dissections (ADs) are at risk of long-term disease progression and late complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the natural course and evolution of acute type B AD and intramural hematomas (IMHs) in patients who presented without complications during their initial hospital admission and who were treated with optimal medical management (MM).Databases from 2 aortic centers in Europe and the United States were used to identify 136 patients with acute type B AD (n = 92) and acute type B IMH (n = 44) who presented without complications during their index admission and were treated with MM. Computed tomography angiography scans were available at onset (≤14 days) and during follow-up for those patients. Relevant data, including evidence of adverse events during follow-up (AE; defined according to current guidelines), were retrieved from medical records and by reviewing computed tomography scan images. Aortic diameters were measured with dedicated 3-dimensional software.The 1-, 2-, and 5-year event-free survival rates of patients with type B AD were 84.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 74.4-90.6), 75.4% (95% CI, 64.0-83.7), and 62.6% (95% CI, 68.9-73.6), respectively. Corresponding estimates for IMH were 76.5% (95% CI, 57.8-87.8), 76.5% (95% CI, 57.8-87.8), and 68.9% (95% CI, 45.2-83.9), respectively. In patients with type B AD, risk of an AE increased with aortic growth within the first 6 months after onset. A diameter increase of 5 mm in the first half year was associated with a relative risk for AE of 2.29 (95% CI, 1.70-3.09) compared with the median 6 months' growth of 2.4 mm. In approximately 60% of patients with IMH, the abnormality resolved within 12 months and in the patients with nonresolving IMH, risk of an adverse event was greatest in the first year after onset and remained stable thereafter.More than one third of patients with initially uncomplicated type B AD suffer an AE under MM within 5 years of initial diagnosis. In patients with nonresolving IMH, most adverse events are observed in the first year after onset. In patients with type B AD an early aortic growth is associated with a greater risk of AE.

    View details for PubMedID 28668458

  • A limit on dose reduction possible with CT reconstruction algorithms without prior knowledge of the scan subject. Medical physics Hsieh, S. S., Chesler, D. A., Fleischmann, D., Pelc, N. J. 2016; 43 (3): 1361-?


    To find an upper bound on the maximum dose reduction possible for any reconstruction algorithm, analytic or iterative, that result from the inclusion of the data statistics. The authors do not analyze noise reduction possible from prior knowledge or assumptions about the object.The authors examined the task of estimating the density of a circular lesion in a cross section. Raw data were simulated by forward projection of existing images and numerical phantoms. To assess an upper bound on the achievable dose reduction by any algorithm, the authors assume that both the background and the shape of the lesion are completely known. Under these conditions, the best possible estimate of the density can be determined by solving a weighted least squares problem directly in the raw data domain. Any possible reconstruction algorithm that does not use prior knowledge or make assumptions about the object, including filtered backprojection (FBP) or iterative reconstruction methods with this constraint, must be no better than this least squares solution. The authors simulated 10 000 sets of noisy data and compared the variance in density from the least squares solution with those from FBP. Density was estimated from FBP images using either averaging within a ROI, or streak-adaptive averaging with better noise performance.The bound on the possible dose reduction depends on the degree to which the observer can read through the possibly streaky noise. For the described low contrast detection task with the signal shape and background known exactly, the average dose reduction possible compared to FBP with streak-adaptive averaging was 42% and it was 64% if only the ROI average is used with FBP. The exact amount of dose reduction also depends on the background anatomy, with statistically inhomogeneous backgrounds showing greater benefits.The dose reductions from new, statistical reconstruction methods can be bounded. Larger dose reductions in the density estimation task studied here are only possible with the introduction of prior knowledge, which can introduce bias.

    View details for DOI 10.1118/1.4941954

    View details for PubMedID 26936720

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4769269

  • Computed Tomography Angiography A Review and Technical Update RADIOLOGIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA Fleischmann, D., Chin, A. S., Molvin, L., Wang, J., Hallett, R. 2016; 54 (1): 1-?


    The principles of computed tomography angiography (CTA) remain the following with modern-day computed tomography (CT): high-resolution volumetric CT data acquisition, imaging at maximum contrast medium enhancement, and subsequent angiographic two- and three-dimensional visualization. One prerequisite for adapting CTA to ever evolving CT technology is understanding the principle rules of contrast medium enhancement. Four key rules of early arterial contrast dynamics can help one understand the relationship between intravenously injected contrast medium and the resulting time-dependent arterial enhancement. The technical evolution of CT has continued with many benefits for CT angiography. Well-informed adaptations of CTA principles allow for leveraging of these innovations for the benefit of patients with cardiovascular diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rcl.2015.09.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367215000002

    View details for PubMedID 26654388

  • Assessment of the Radiation Effects of Cardiac CT Angiography Using Protein and Genetic Biomarkers. JACC. Cardiovascular imaging Nguyen, P. K., Lee, W. H., Li, Y. F., Hong, W. X., Hu, S., Chan, C., Liang, G., Nguyen, I., Ong, S., Churko, J., Wang, J., Altman, R. B., Fleischmann, D., Wu, J. C. 2015; 8 (8): 873-884


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether radiation exposure from cardiac computed tomographic angiography (CTA) is associated with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage and whether damage leads to programmed cell death and activation of genes involved in apoptosis and DNA repair.Exposure to radiation from medical imaging has become a public health concern, but whether it causes significant cell damage remains unclear.We conducted a prospective cohort study in 67 patients undergoing cardiac CTA between January 2012 and December 2013 in 2 U.S. medical centers. Median blood radiation exposure was estimated using phantom dosimetry. Biomarkers of DNA damage and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry, whole genome sequencing, and single cell polymerase chain reaction.The median dose length product was 1,535.3 mGy•cm (969.7 to 2,674.0 mGy•cm). The median radiation dose to the blood was 29.8 mSv (18.8 to 48.8 mSv). Median DNA damage increased 3.39% (1.29% to 8.04%, p < 0.0001) and median apoptosis increased 3.1-fold (1.4- to 5.1-fold, p < 0.0001) post-radiation. Whole genome sequencing revealed changes in the expression of 39 transcription factors involved in the regulation of apoptosis, cell cycle, and DNA repair. Genes involved in mediating apoptosis and DNA repair were significantly changed post-radiation, including DDB2 (1.9-fold [1.5- to 3.0-fold], p < 0.001), XRCC4 (3.0-fold [1.1- to 5.4-fold], p = 0.005), and BAX (1.6-fold [0.9- to 2.6-fold], p < 0.001). Exposure to radiation was associated with DNA damage (odds ratio [OR]: 1.8 [1.2 to 2.6], p = 0.003). DNA damage was associated with apoptosis (OR: 1.9 [1.2 to 5.1], p < 0.0001) and gene activation (OR: 2.8 [1.2 to 6.2], p = 0.002).Patients exposed to >7.5 mSv of radiation from cardiac CTA had evidence of DNA damage, which was associated with programmed cell death and activation of genes involved in apoptosis and DNA repair.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcmg.2015.04.016

    View details for PubMedID 26210695

  • Model-based Iterative Reconstruction Compared to Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction and Filtered Back-projection in CT of the Kidneys and the Adjacent Retroperitoneum. Academic radiology Olcott, E. W., Shin, L. K., Sommer, G., Chan, I., Rosenberg, J., Molvin, F. L., Boas, F. E., Fleischmann, D. 2014; 21 (6): 774-784


    To prospectively evaluate the perceived image quality of model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) compared to adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) and filtered back-projection (FBP) in computed tomography (CT) of the kidneys and retroperitoneum.With investigational review board and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance, 17 adults underwent 31 contrast-enhanced CT acquisitions at constant tube potential and current (range 30-300 mA). Each was reconstructed with MBIR, ASIR (50%), and FBP. Four reviewers scored each reconstruction's perceived image quality overall and the perceived image quality of seven imaging features that were selected by the authors as being relevant to imaging in the region and pertinent to the evaluation of high-quality diagnostic CT.MBIR perceived image quality scored superior to ASIR and FBP both overall (P < .001) and for observations of the retroperitoneal fascia (99.2%), corticomedullary differentiation (94.4%), renal hilar structures (96.8%), focal renal lesions (92.5%), and mitigation of streak artifact (100.0%; all, P < .001). MBIR achieved diagnostic overall perceived image quality with approximately half the radiation dose required by ASIR and FBP. The noise curve of MBIR was significantly lower and flatter (P < .001).Compared to ASIR and FBP, MBIR provides superior perceived image quality, both overall and for several specific imaging features, across a broad range of tube current levels, and requires approximately half the radiation dose to achieve diagnostic overall perceived image quality. Accordingly, MBIR should enable CT scanning with improved perceived image quality and/or reduced radiation exposure.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.acra.2014.02.012

    View details for PubMedID 24809318

  • CT Angiography after 20 Years: A Transformation in Cardiovascular Disease Characterization Continues to Advance RADIOLOGY Rubin, G. D., Leipsic, J., Schoepf, U. J., Fleischmann, D., Napel, S. 2014; 271 (3): 633-652


    Through a marriage of spiral computed tomography (CT) and graphical volumetric image processing, CT angiography was born 20 years ago. Fueled by a series of technical innovations in CT and image processing, over the next 5-15 years, CT angiography toppled conventional angiography, the undisputed diagnostic reference standard for vascular disease for the prior 70 years, as the preferred modality for the diagnosis and characterization of most cardiovascular abnormalities. This review recounts the evolution of CT angiography from its development and early challenges to a maturing modality that has provided unique insights into cardiovascular disease characterization and management. Selected clinical challenges, which include acute aortic syndromes, peripheral vascular disease, aortic stent-graft and transcatheter aortic valve assessment, and coronary artery disease, are presented as contrasting examples of how CT angiography is changing our approach to cardiovascular disease diagnosis and management. Finally, the recently introduced capabilities for multispectral imaging, tissue perfusion imaging, and radiation dose reduction through iterative reconstruction are explored with consideration toward the continued refinement and advancement of CT angiography.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.14132232

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336894600004

    View details for PubMedID 24848958

  • State-of-the-Art Computed Tomography Angiography of Acute Aortic Syndrome SEMINARS IN ULTRASOUND CT AND MRI Chin, A. S., Fleischmann, D. 2012; 33 (3): 222-234


    Acute aortic syndrome refers to a spectrum of acute life-threatening aortic abnormalities requiring prompt recognition and treatment. Although underlying pathologies are diverse, presenting signs and symptoms are often indistinguishable clinically, underscoring the role of imaging to make the correct diagnosis. Computed tomography (CT) angiography, a safe and accessible imaging modality, is paramount in accurately confirming or excluding critical aortic lesions, defining location and extent, and describing associated complications. Electrocardiographic gating further improves diagnostic precision of CT, providing motion-free 3- and 4-dimensional imaging of the entire aorta. This article reviews the imaging spectrum and state-of-the-art CT for patients presenting with acute aortic syndrome.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.sult.2012.01.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305094700005

    View details for PubMedID 22624967

  • Evaluation of Two Iterative Techniques for Reducing Metal Artifacts in Computed Tomography RADIOLOGY Boas, F. E., Fleischmann, D. 2011; 259 (3): 894-902


    To evaluate two methods for reducing metal artifacts in computed tomography (CT)--the metal deletion technique (MDT) and the selective algebraic reconstruction technique (SART)--and compare these methods with filtered back projection (FBP) and linear interpolation (LI).The institutional review board approved this retrospective HIPAA-compliant study; informed patient consent was waived. Simulated projection data were calculated for a phantom that contained water, soft tissue, bone, and iron. Clinical projection data were obtained retrospectively from 11 consecutively identified CT scans with metal streak artifacts, with a total of 178 sections containing metal. Each scan was reconstructed using FBP, LI, SART, and MDT. The simulated scans were evaluated quantitatively by calculating the average error in Hounsfield units for each pixel compared with the original phantom. Two radiologists who were blinded to the reconstruction algorithms used qualitatively evaluated the clinical scans, ranking the overall severity of artifacts for each algorithm. P values for comparisons of the image quality ranks were calculated from the binomial distribution.The simulations showed that MDT reduces artifacts due to photon starvation, beam hardening, and motion and does not introduce new streaks between metal and bone. MDT had the lowest average error (76% less than FBP, 42% less than LI, 17% less than SART). Blinded comparison of the clinical scans revealed that MDT had the best image quality 100% of the time (95% confidence interval: 72%, 100%). LI had the second best image quality, and SART and FBP had the worst image quality. On images from two CT scans, as compared with images generated by the scanner, MDT revealed information of potential clinical importance.For a wide range of scans, MDT yields reduced metal streak artifacts and better-quality images than does FBP, LI, or SART.http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.11101782/-/DC1.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.11101782

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290898100030

    View details for PubMedID 21357521

  • Computed tomography-old ideas and new technology EUROPEAN RADIOLOGY Fleischmann, D., Boas, F. E. 2011; 21 (3): 510-517


    Several recently introduced 'new' techniques in computed tomography--iterative reconstruction, gated cardiac CT, multiple-source, and dual-energy CT--actually date back to the early days of CT. We review the historic origins and evolution of these techniques, which may provide some insight into the latest innovations in commercial CT systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00330-011-2056-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286943600013

    View details for PubMedID 21249371

  • CT Angiography: Injection and Acquisition Technique RADIOLOGIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA Fleischmann, D. 2010; 48 (2): 237-?


    CT scanner technology is continuously evolving, with scan times becoming shorter with each scanner generation. Achieving adequate arterial opacification synchronized with CT data acquisition is becoming increasingly difficult. A fundamental understanding of early arterial contrast medium dynamics is thus of utmost importance for the design of CT scanning and injection protocols for current and future cardiovascular CT applications. Arterial enhancement is primarily controlled by the iodine flux (injection flow rate) and the injection duration versus a patient's cardiac output and local downstream physiology. The technical capabilities of modern CT equipment require precise scan timing. Together with automated tube current modulation and weight-based injection protocols, both radiation exposure and contrast medium enhancement can be individualized.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rcl.2010.02.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279865000003

    View details for PubMedID 20609872

  • Lower Extremity CT Angiography (CTA): Initial Evaluation of a Knowledge-Based Centerline Estimation Algorithm for Femoro-Popliteal Artery (FPA) Occlusions ACADEMIC RADIOLOGY Roos, J. E., Rakshe, T., Tran, D. N., Rosenberg, J., Straka, M., El-Helw, T., Sofilos, M. C., Napel, S., Fleischmann, D. 2009; 16 (6): 646-653


    Existing density- and gradient-based automated centerline-extraction algorithms fail in severely diseased or occluded arterial segments for the generation of curved planar reformations (CPRs). We aimed to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the precision of a knowledge-based centerline-extraction algorithm in patients with occluded femoro-popliteal artery (FPA).Computed tomography angiograms of 38 FPA occlusions (mean length 120 mm) were retrospectively identified. Reference centerlines were determined as the mean of eight manual expert readings. Each occlusion was also interpolated using a new knowledge-based algorithm (partial vector space projection [PVSP]), which uses shape information extracted from a separate database of 30 nondiseased FPAs. Precision of PVSP was quantified as the maximum departure error (MDE) from the standard of reference and the proportion of the interpolated centerlines remaining within an assumed vessel radius of 3 mm. Multiple regression method was used to determine the factors predicting the precision of the algorithm. CPR quality was independently assigned by two readers.The mean MDE (in mm) for occlusion lengths of <50 mm, 50-100 mm, 100-200 mm, and >200 mm was 0.95, 1.19, 1.40, and 2.25, for manual readings and 1.68, 2.90, 9.43, and 19.95 for PVSP, respectively. MDEs of the algorithm were completely contained within 3 mm of the assumed vessel radius in 20 of 38 occlusions. CPR quality was rated diagnostic by both readers in 23 of 38 occlusions.Shape-based centerline extraction of FPA occlusions in lower extremity CTA is feasible, and independent from local density and gradient information. PVSP centerline extraction allows interpolation of occlusions up to 100 mm within the variability of manually derived centerlines.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.acra.2009.01.015

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266210300002

    View details for PubMedID 19427978

  • Dual-energy CT Discrimination of Iodine and Calcium: Experimental Results and Implications for Lower Extremity CT Angiography ACADEMIC RADIOLOGY Tran, D. N., Straka, M., Roos, J. E., Napel, S., Fleischmann, D. 2009; 16 (2): 160-171


    The purpose of this work was to measure the accuracy of dual-energy computed tomography for identifying iodine and calcium and to determine the effects of calcium suppression in phantoms and lower-extremity computed tomographic (CT) angiographic data sets.Using a three-material basis decomposition method for 80- and 140-kVp data, the accuracy of correctly identified contrast medium and calcium voxels and the mean attenuation before and after calcium suppression were computed. Experiments were first performed on a phantom of homogenous contrast medium and hydroxyapatite samples with mean attenuation of 57.2, 126, and 274 Hounsfield units (HU) and 50.0, 122, and 265 HU, respectively. Experiments were repeated in corresponding attenuation groups of voxels from manually segmented bones and contrast medium-enhanced arteries in a lower-extremity CT angiographic data set with mean attenuation of 293 and 434 HU, respectively. Calcium suppression in atherosclerotic plaques of a cadaveric specimen was also studied, using micro-computed tomography as a reference, and in a lower-extremity CT angiographic data set with substantial below-knee calcified plaques.Higher concentrations showed increased accuracy of iodine and hydroxyapatite identification of 87.4%, 99.7%, and 99.9% and 88.0%, 95.0%, and 99.9%, respectively. Calcium suppression was also more accurate with higher concentrations of iodine and hydroxyapatite, with mean attenuation after suppression of 47.1, 122, and 263 HU and 7.14, 11.6, and 12.6 HU, respectively. Similar patterns were seen in the corresponding attenuation groups of the contrast medium-enhanced arteries and bone in the clinical data set, which had overall accuracy of 81.3% and 78.9%, respectively, and mean attenuation after calcium suppression of 254 and 73.7 HU, respectively. The suppression of calcified atherosclerotic plaque was accurate compared with the micro-CT reference; however, the suppression in the clinical data set showed probable inappropriate suppression of the small vessels.Dual-energy computed tomography can detect and differentiate between contrast medium and calcified tissues, but its accuracy is dependent on the CT density of tissues and limited when CT attenuation is low.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.acra.2008.09.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262536500007

    View details for PubMedID 19124101

  • An improved algorithm for femoropopliteal artery centerline restoration using prior knowledge of shapes and image space data MEDICAL PHYSICS Rakshe, T., Fleischmann, D., Rosenberg, J., Roos, J. E., Straka, M., Napel, S. 2008; 35 (7): 3372-3382


    Accurate arterial centerline extraction is essential for comprehensive visualization in CT Angiography. Time consuming manual tracking is needed when automated methods fail to track centerlines through severely diseased and occluded vessels. A previously described algorithm, Partial Vector Space Projection (PVSP), which uses vessel shape information from a database to bridge occlusions of the femoropopliteal artery, has a limited accuracy in long (>100 mm) occlusions. In this article we introduce a new algorithm, Intermediate Point Detection (IPD), which uses calcifications in the occluded artery to provide additional information about the location of the centerline to facilitate improvement in PVSP performance. It identifies calcified plaque in image space to find the most useful point within the occlusion to improve the estimate from PVSP. In this algorithm candidates for calcified plaque are automatically identified on axial CT slices in a restricted region around the estimate obtained from PVSP. A modified Canny edge detector identifies the edge of the calcified plaque and a convex polygon fit is used to find the edge of the calcification bordering the wall of the vessel. The Hough transform for circles estimates the center of the vessel on the slice, which serves as a candidate intermediate point. Each candidate is characterized by two scores based on radius and relative position within the occluded segment, and a polynomial function is constructed to define a net score representing the potential benefit of using this candidate for improving the centerline. We tested our approach in 44 femoropopliteal artery occlusions of lengths up to 398 mm in 30 patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Centerlines were tracked manually by four-experts, twice each, with their mean serving as the reference standard. All occlusions were first interpolated with PVSP using a database of femoropopliteal arterial shapes obtained from a total of 60 subjects. Occlusions longer than 80 mm (N = 20) were then processed with the IPD algorithm, provided calcifications were found (N = 14). We used the maximum point-wise distance of an interpolated curve from the reference standard as our error metric. The IPD algorithm significantly reduced the average error of the initial PVSP from 2.76 to 1.86 mm (p < 0.01). The error was less than the clinically desirable 3 mm (smallest radius of the femoropopliteal artery) in 13 of 14 occlusions. The IPD algorithm achieved results within the range of the human readers in 11 of 14 cases. We conclude that the additional use of sparse but specific image space information, such as calcified atherosclerotic plaque, can be used to substantially improve the performance of a previously described knowledge-based method to restore the centerlines of femoropopliteal arterial occlusions.

    View details for DOI 10.1118/1.2940194

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257231700039

    View details for PubMedID 18697561

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2673553

  • Femoropopliteal artery centerline interpolation using contralateral shape MEDICAL PHYSICS Tran, D. N., Fleischmann, D., Rakshe, T., Roos, J. E., Rosenberg, J., Straka, M., Napel, S. 2007; 34 (9): 3428-3435


    Curved planar reformation allows comprehensive visualization of arterial flow channels, providing information about calcified and noncalcified plaques and degrees of stenoses. Existing semiautomated centerline-extraction algorithms for curved planar reformation generation fail in severely diseased and occluded arteries. We explored whether contralateral shape information could be used to reconstruct centerlines through femoropopliteal occlusions. We obtained CT angiography data sets of 29 subjects (16m/13f, 19-86yo) without peripheral arterial occlusive disease and five consecutive subjects (1m/4f, 54-85yo) with unilateral femoropopliteal arterial occlusions. A gradient-based method was used to extract the femoropopliteal centerlines in nondiseased segments. Centerlines of the five occluded segments were manually determined by four experts, two times each. We interpolated missing centerlines in 2475 simulated occlusions of various occlusion lengths in nondiseased subjects. We used different curve registration methods (reflection, similarity, affine, and global polynomial) to align the nonoccluded segments, matched the end points of the occluded segments to the corresponding patent end points, and recorded maximum Euclidean distances to the known centerlines. We also compared our algorithm to an existing knowledge-based PCA interpolation algorithm using the nondiseased subjects. In the five subjects with real femoropopliteal occlusions, we measured the maximum Euclidean distance and the percentage of the interpolation that remained within a typical 3 mm radius vessel. In the nondiseased subjects, we found that the rigid registration methods were not significantly (p<0.750) different among themselves but were more accurate than the nonrigid methods (p<0.001). In simulations using nondiseased subjects, our method produced centerlines that stayed within 3 mm of a semiautomatically tracked centerline in occlusions up to 100 mm in length; however, the PCA method was significantly more accurate for all occlusions lengths. In the actual clinical cases, we found the following [occlusion length (mm):error (mm)]: 16.5:0.775, 42.0:1.54, 79.9:1.82, 145:3.23, and 292:6.13, which were almost always more accurate than the PCA algorithm. We conclude that the use of contralateral shape information, when available, is a promising method for the interpolation of centerlines through arterial occlusions.

    View details for DOI 10.1118/1.2759603

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249547200003

    View details for PubMedID 17926944

  • Multipath curved planar reformation of the peripheral arterial tree in CT angiography RADIOLOGY Roos, J. E., Fleischmann, D., Koechl, A., Rakshe, T., Straka, M., Napoli, A., Kanitsar, A., Sramek, M., Groeller, E. 2007; 244 (1): 281-290


    The study was approved by the institutional review board, and informed consent was obtained. The purpose of the study was to prospectively quantify the angular visibility range, determine the existence of orthogonal viewing pairs, and characterize the conditions that cause artifacts in multipath curved planar reformations (MPCPRs) of the peripheral arterial tree in 10 patients (eight men and two women; mean age, 69 years; range, 54-80 years) with peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Percentage of segments with the maximal possible visibility score of 1 was significantly greater (odds ratio, 1.42; P<.001) for MPCPRs than for maximum intensity projections. One or more orthogonal viewing pairs were identified for all above-knee arterial segments, and artifactual vessel distortion was observed when the vessel axis approached a horizontal course in MPCPRs.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2441060976

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247436500032

    View details for PubMedID 17495179

  • Knowledge-based interpolation of curves: Application to femoropopliteal arterial centerline restoration MEDICAL IMAGE ANALYSIS Rakshe, T., Fleischmann, D., Rosenberg, J., Roos, J. E., Napel, S. 2007; 11 (2): 157-168


    We present a novel algorithm, Partial Vector Space Projection (PVSP), for estimation of missing data given a database of similar datasets, and demonstrate its use in restoring the centerlines through simulated occlusions of femoropopliteal arteries, derived from CT angiography data. The algorithm performs Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on a database of centerlines to obtain a set of orthonormal basis functions defined in a scaled and oriented frame of reference, and assumes that any curve not in the database can be represented as a linear combination of these basis functions. Using a database of centerlines derived from 30 normal femoropopliteal arteries, we evaluated the algorithm, and compared it to a correlation-based linear Minimum Mean Squared Error (MMSE) method, by deleting portions of a centerline for several occlusion lengths (OL: 10 mm, 25 mm, 50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm, 125 mm, 150 mm, 175 mm and 200 mm). For each simulated occlusion, we projected the partially known dataset on the set of basis functions derived from the remaining 29 curves to restore the missing segment. We calculated the maximum point-wise distance (Maximum Departure or MD) between the actual and estimated centerline as the error metric. Mean (standard deviation) of MD increased from 0.18 (0.14) to 4.35 (2.23) as OL increased. The results were fairly accurate even for large occlusion lengths and are clinically useful. The results were consistently better than those using the MMSE method. Multivariate regression analysis found that OL and the root-mean-square error in the 2 cm proximal and distal to the occlusion accounted for most of the error.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.media.2006.11.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245596200005

    View details for PubMedID 17218147

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1989127

  • CT angiography of peripheral arterial disease JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY Fleischmann, D., Hallett, R. L., Rubin, G. D. 2006; 17 (1): 3-26


    Lower-extremity computed tomographic (CT) angiography (ie, peripheral CT angiography) is increasingly used to evaluate patients with peripheral arterial disease. It is therefore increasingly important for all vascular specialists to become familiar with the strengths and limitations of this new technique. The aims of this review are to explain the principles of scanning and injection technique for a wide range of CT scanners, to explain and illustrate the properties of current image postprocessing tools for effective visualization and treatment planning, and to provide an overview of current clinical applications of peripheral CT angiography.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.RVI.0000191361.02857.DE

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236517800002

    View details for PubMedID 16415129

  • Quantification of intravenously administered contrast medium transit through the peripheral arteries: Implications for CT angiography RADIOLOGY Fleischmann, D., Rubin, G. D. 2005; 236 (3): 1076-1082


    To prospectively determine the range of aortopopliteal bolus transit times in patients with moderate-to-severe peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) as a guideline for developing injection strategies for computed tomographic (CT) angiography of peripheral arteries.The study protocol was approved by the local ethics board, and informed consent was obtained. Twenty patients with PAOD referred for CT angiography of the lower extremities were categorized into two groups, Fontaine stage IIb (group 1) and stage III or IV (group 2), and demographic information was collected. In all patients, a 16-mL test bolus was injected intravenously, and single-level dynamic acquisitions were obtained at the level of the abdominal aorta. After injection of a second 16-mL test bolus, dynamic acquisitions were obtained at the level of the knee (popliteal arteries). Aortopopliteal bolus transit times were calculated by subtracting the time to peak enhancement in the popliteal arteries from that in the aorta. Aortopopliteal transit speeds also were derived. Transit times and speeds were compared graphically between clinical stage groups. The time required for the contrast medium to enhance the entire peripheral arterial tree in patients with PAOD was estimated by using linear extrapolation.Sixteen men and four women with a mean age of 69 years (range, 49-86 years) were included. Twelve patients were included in group 1, and eight patients, in group 2. Aortopopliteal bolus transit times ranged from 4 to 24 seconds (median, 8 seconds) in all subjects, which corresponded to bolus transit speeds of 177 and 29 mm/sec, respectively. Wide overlap of transit times and transit speeds was observed between clinical stage groups. The estimated time needed for the bolus to enhance the entire peripheral arterial tree was 6-39 seconds.Aortopopliteal bolus transit times differ widely among patients and may be substantially delayed in all patients with PAOD. Empirical injection protocols should include an injection duration of 35 seconds or more, as well as an increased scanning delay, with table speeds of more than 30 mm/sec.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2363041392

    View details for Web of Science ID 000231412600046

    View details for PubMedID 16000649

  • Non-Linear Model Fitting to Parameterize Diseased Blood Vessels IEEE Vizualization 2004 La Cruz A, Straka M, Köchl A, Srámek M, Gröller E, Fleischmann D 2004: 393-400
  • VesselGlyph: Focus & Context Visualization in CT-Angiography IEEE Visualization 2004 Straka M, Cervenanský M, La Cruz A, Köchl A, Srámek M, Gröller E, Fleischmann D 2004: 385-392
  • CPR - Curved Planar Reformation IEEE Visualization 2002 Kanitsar A, Fleischmann D, Wegenkittl R, Felkel P, Gröller E 2002: 37-44
  • Accuracy of predicting and controlling time-dependent aortic enhancement from a test bolus injection JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED TOMOGRAPHY Hittmair, K., Fleischmann, D. 2001; 25 (2): 287-294


    The purpose of this work was to determine the accuracy of predicting arterial enhancement from peripheral versus central venous test bolus injections at CT angiography (CTA).In 40 patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms, aortoiliac enhancement profiles were predicted by mathematical deconvolution of the time-attenuation response to a 16 ml test bolus injection. Injection sites were either a cubital vein (n = 20) or a central venous injection site (n = 20). The accuracy of predicting enhancement was quantified as the "off-predicted deviation" (calculated as mean squared differences between observed minus predicted enhancement values) in all patients.Off-predicted deviation was significantly smaller in the central venous injection group (17 +/- 6 HU) than the peripheral injection group (33 +/- 18 HU) (p < 0.001).Arterial enhancement at CTA can be mathematically predicted and controlled more accurately if a central venous injection site is used. Automated saline flushing of the veins might improve the accuracy of the mathematical model for peripheral injections.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000167521000024

    View details for PubMedID 11242230