Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Advanced image analysis can provide better risk assessment in hardening of the arteries

08.06.2009
Ultrasound examination of the carotid artery is a patient-friendly and inexpensive method for assessing atherosclerosis and thereby predicting the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Peter Holdfeldt, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, has developed new analytical methods for ultrasound images that can provide more reliable and more exact assessments of atherosclerosis.

Cardiovascular diseases brought on by hardening of the arteries are the most common cause of death in the Western world. Hardening of the arteries means a thickening of the walls of blood vessels and the appearance of so-called atherosclerotic plaque, which consist of stored fat, among other things.

With the aid of ultrasound images, it is possible to find individuals who are at risk by measuring the thickness of the walls in the carotid artery. Another ultrasound method is to analyze whether the character of various types of plaque can predict the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Peter Holdfeldt has developed new and more refined methods of image analysis that are based on dynamic programming.

"Measurements of the thickness of the walls of the carotid require the detection of boundaries between different layers of tissue in the blood vessel," he says. "Previously dynamic programming has been used to automatically detect boundaries in still images. But the new method uses dynamic programming for detection in image sequences of one and the same blood vessel instead."

Examining an entire image sequence instead of a single image provides a more correct result, since it is possible to make use of the similarity between the images in the sequence - a boundary ought to be found in roughly the same place in two images in a row. The method comprises two steps. First, several alternative locations of the boundary are determined in each image. Then one of the alternatives is selected from each image, and it is in this step that the program factors in the movement of boundaries between images.

"This has proven to provide more correct detections of boundaries than what you can get from a program that detects boundaries on the basis of a single image," says Peter Holdfeldt.

He has also developed a method to automatically classify atherosclerotic plaque. This plaque can burst and form blood clots that cause heart attacks or strokes. In ultrasound images it is possible with the naked eye to see the type of plaque that often leads to stroke, but such an assessment is subjective and is influenced by disturbances in the image. The new automatic method entails a technological advancement of ultrasound technology that can lead to more objective and quantifiable analysis.

Peter Holdfeldt's research has been part of a collaborative project between Chalmers and the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg. Björn Fagerberg, a physician and professor of cardiovascular research, is responsible for the clinical evaluation of the new methods together with the doctoral candidate Ulrica Prahl.

"We're now busy testing the new automatic method for plaque classification in patient groups," he says. "In its final form it should be an excellent aid in identifying high-risk patients."

Measurement of the carotid artery is already in use today in cardiovascular research. There are other methods of measurement, but they are not as well validated as the method that has been developed by the researchers at Chalmers and Sahlgrenska.

"Dynamic image analysis is an exciting new method that will no doubt offer great potential for elaboration," says Björn Fagerberg. "The advantage of using ultrasound is that is practical, inexpensive, and patient-friendly."

The dissertation "Dynamic Programming for Ultrasound Image Analysis of Atherosclerosis" was defended on May 15.

Peter Holdfeldt, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology

hfeldt@chalmers.se

Björn Fagerberg, Wallenberg Laboratory at Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Phone: +46 (0)31-3428382; cell phone: +46 (0)706-883387;
bjorn.fagerberg@wlab.gu.se

Sofie Hebrand | idw
Further information:
http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/cpl/record/index.xsql?pubid=92553
http://www.chalmers.se/s2/EN/research/divisions/medical-engineering

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Visualizing gene expression with MRI
23.12.2016 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Illuminating cancer: Researchers invent a pH threshold sensor to improve cancer surgery
21.12.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>