Measurement of changes in arterial vessel diameter can be used to assess the state of cardiovascular health, but the use of such measurements as biomarkers is contingent upon the accuracy and robustness of the measurement. This work presents a simple algorithm for measuring diameter from B-mode images derived from vascular ultrasound. The algorithm is based upon Gaussian curve fitting and a Viterbi search process. We assessed the accuracy of the algorithm by measuring the diameter of a digital reference object (DRO) and ultrasound-derived images of a carotid artery. We also assessed the robustness of the algorithm by manipulating the quality of the image. Across a broad range of signal-to-noise ratio and with varying image edge error, the algorithm measured vessel diameter within 0.7% of the creation dimensions of the DRO. This was a similar level of difference (0.8%) to when an ultrasound image was used. When SNR dropped to 18 dB, measurement error increased to 1.3%. When edge position was varied by as much as 10%, measurement error was well maintained between 0.68 and 0.75%. All these errors fall well within the margin of error established by the medical physics community for quantitative ultrasound measurements. We conclude that this simple algorithm provides consistent and accurate measurement of lumen diameter from B-mode images across a broad range of image quality.
- digital reference object
- wall tracking
- edge detection
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society