Department of Computational Science and Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea
Copyright © 2013 Chi Young Ahn. 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.
This paper proposes a robust real-time myocardial border tracking algorithm for echocardiography. Commonly, after an initial contour of LV border is traced at one or two frames from the entire cardiac cycle, LV contour tracking is performed over the remaining frames. Among a variety of tracking techniques, optical flow method is the most widely used for motion estimation of moving objects. However, when echocardiography data is heavily corrupted in some local regions, the errors bring the tracking point out of the endocardial border, resulting in distorted LV contours. This shape distortion often occurs in practice since the data acquisition is affected by ultrasound artifacts, dropouts, or shadowing phenomena of cardiac walls. The proposed method is designed to deal with this shape distortion problem by integrating local optical flow motion and global deformation into a variational framework. The proposed descent method controls the individual tracking points to follow the local motions of a specific speckle pattern, while their overall motions are confined to the global motion constraint being approximately an affine transform of the initial tracking points. Many real experiments show that the proposed method achieves better overall performance than conventional methods.