Accurate Thickness Measurement of Two Adjacent Sheet Structures in CT Images

Yuanzhi CHENG  Yoshinobu SATO  Hisashi TANAKA  Takashi NISHII  Nobuhiko SUGANO  Hironobu NAKAMURA  Hideki YOSHIKAWA  Shuguo WANG  Shinichi TAMURA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E90-D   No.1   pp.271-282
Publication Date: 2007/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Advanced Image Technology)
cartilage thickness,  hip joint,  image quantification,  numerical simulation,  point spread function,  

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Accurate thickness measurement of sheet-like structure such as articular cartilage in CT images is required in clinical diagnosis as well as in fundamental research. Using a conventional measurement method based on the zero-crossing edge detection (zero-crossings method), several studies have already analyzed the accuracy limitation on thickness measurement of the single sheet structure that is not influenced by peripheral structures. However, no studies, as of yet, have assessed measurement accuracy of two adjacent sheet structures such as femoral and acetabular cartilages in the hip joint. In this paper, we present a model of the CT scanning process of two parallel sheet structures separated by a small distance, and use the model to predict the shape of the gray-level profiles along the sheet normal orientation. The difference between the predicted and the actual gray-level profiles observed in the CT data is minimized by refining the model parameters. Both a one-by-one search (exhaustive combination search) technique and a nonlinear optimization technique based on the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm are used to minimize the difference. Using CT images of phantoms, we present results showing that when applying the one-by-one search method to obtain the initial values of the model parameters, Levenberg-Marquardt method is more accurate than zero-crossings and one-by-one search methods for estimating the thickness of two adjacent sheet structures, as well as the thickness of a single sheet structure.