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In Journal of X-ray science and technology

Currently, cardiac computed tomography angiography (CTA) is widely applied to coronary artery disease diagnosis. Automatic segmentation of coronary artery has played an important role in coronary artery disease diagnosis. In this study, we propose and test a fully automatic coronary artery segmentation method that does not require any human-computer interaction. The proposed method uses a growing strategy and contains three main parts namely, (1) the initial seed detection that automatically detects the root points of the left and right coronary arteries where the ascending aorta meets the coronary arteries, (2) the growing strategy that searches for the neighborhood blocks to decide the existence of coronary arteries with an improved convolutional neural network, and (3) the iterative termination condition that decides whether the growing iteration finishes. The proposed framework is validated using a dataset containing 32 cardiac CTA volumes from different patients for training and testing. Experimental results show that the proposed method obtained a Dice loss ranged from 0.70 to 0.83, which indicates that the new method outperforms the traditional methods such as level set.

Cui Jiali, Guo Hua, Wang Huafeng, Chen Fuqiang, Shu Lixia, Li Lihong C


3D U-net, Coronary artery segmentation, computed tomography angiography (CTA), deep learning, growing algorithm