The intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA) is an established indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD). There have been reports about the difference between the left and the right sides of the CCA IMT and their relation with CVD. In this paper, we propose an automated system based on image normalization, speckle reduction filtering, and snakes segmentation, for segmenting the CCA, perform IMT measurements, and provide the differences between the left and the right sides. The study was performed on 1104 longitudinal-section ultrasound images acquired from 568 men and 536 women out of which 125 had cardiovascular symptoms (CVD). A cardiovascular expert manually delineated the IMT for the normal and the CVD groups. The corresponding (normal versus CVD) IMT mean ± standard deviation values for the left and the right sides were 0.74 ± 0.24 versus 0.87 ± 0.24 mm and 0.70 ± 0.17 versus 0.80 ± 0.18 mm, respectively. The main findings of this paper can be summarized as follows: 1) there was no significant difference between the CCA left side IMT and the right side IMT. These findings suggest that the measurement of the CCA IMT on one side only is needed for the normal group (and this is in agreement with other studies); 2) there were statistical significant differences for the IMT measurements between the normal group and the CVD group for both the left and the right sides; 3) there was an increasing linear relationship of the left and the right IMT measurements with age for the normal group; and to a lesser extend for the CVD group; 4) no statistical significant differences were found between the manual and the automated IMT measurements for both sides; and 5) the best result for classification disease modeling, using support vector machines, to discriminate between the normal and the CVD groups was a 64%±3.5% correct classifications score when using both the left and the right IMT automated measurements. Further research is required for estimating differences and similarities between left and right intima media complex structure and morphology and their variability with texture features for differentiating between the normal and the CVD group.
|Journal||IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- cardiovascular disease
- common carotid artery
- intima media thickness
- ultrasound imaging