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Tracking Large Anterior Mitral Leaflet Displacements by Incorporating Optical Flow in an Active Contours Framework

Sultan, M. ; Martins, N. ; Costa, E. ; Veiga, D. ; Ferreira, M. J. Ferreira ; Mattos, S. ; Coimbra, M.

Tracking Large Anterior Mitral Leaflet Displacements by Incorporating Optical Flow in an Active Contours Framework, Proc International Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society - EMBC, Jeju Island, Korea, South, Vol. , pp. - , July, 2017.

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Abstract
Echocardiography is an important tool to detect early evidence of mitral valve degradation associated with rheumatic heart disease. The segmentation and tracking of the Anterior Mitral Leaflet helps to quantify the morphologic valve anomalies, such as the leaflet thickening, shape and the mobility changes. The tracking of this leaflet throughout the cardiac cycle is still an open challenge in the research community. The widely used active contours segmentation framework fails when faced with large leaflet displacement. In this work, we propose the integration of optical flow in an open-ended active contour framework to address this difficulty. This additional information promotes solutions with contours next to high leaflet displacements, resulting in superior performance. The algorithm was tested on 9 fully annotated real clinical videos, acquired from the parasternal long axis view. The algorithm is compared with our previous work. Results show a clear improvement in situations where the leaflet exhibits large displacement or irregular shapes, with an average error of 4.5 pixels and a standard deviation of 2 pixels.