Copyright © 2013 Xin Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Carotid atherosclerosis is a major reason of stroke, a leading cause of death and disability. In this paper, a segmentation method based on Active Shape Model (ASM) is developed and evaluated to outline common carotid artery (CCA) for carotid atherosclerosis computer-aided evaluation and diagnosis. The proposed method is used to segment both media-adventitia-boundary (MAB) and lumen-intima-boundary (LIB) on transverse views slices from three-dimensional ultrasound (3D US) images. The data set consists of sixty-eight, 17 × 2 × 2, 3D US volume data acquired from the left and right carotid arteries of seventeen patients (eight treated with 80 mg atorvastatin and nine with placebo), who had carotid stenosis of 60% or more, at baseline and after three months of treatment. Manually outlined boundaries by expert are adopted as the ground truth for evaluation. For the MAB and LIB segmentations, respectively, the algorithm yielded Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) of 94.4% ± 3.2% and 92.8% ± 3.3%, mean absolute distances (MAD) of 0.26 ± 0.18 mm and 0.33 ± 0.21 mm, and maximum absolute distances (MAXD) of 0.75 ± 0.46 mm and 0.84 ± 0.39 mm. It took 4.3 ± 0.5 mins to segment single 3D US images, while it took 11.7 ± 1.2 mins for manual segmentation. The method would promote the translation of carotid 3D US to clinical care for the monitoring of the atherosclerotic disease progression and regression.