An integrated system for the segmentation of atherosclerotic carotid plaque

Christos P. Loizou, Constantinos S. Pattichis, Marios Pantziaris, Andrew Nicolaides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we propose and evaluate an integrated system for the segmentation of atherosclerotic plaque in ultrasound imaging of the carotid artery based on normalization, speckle reduction filtering, and four different snakes segmentation methods. These methods are the Williams and Shah, Balloon, Lai and Chin, and the gradient vector flow (GVF) snake. The performance of the four different plaque snakes segmentation methods was tested on 80 longitudinal ultrasound images of the carotid artery using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and the manual delineations of an expert. All four methods were very satisfactory and similar in all measures evaluated, with no significant differences between them; however, the Lai and Chin snakes segmentation method gave slightly better results. Concluding, it is proposed that the integrated system investigated in this study could be used successfully for the automated segmentation of the carotid plaque.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-667
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid plaque
  • Snakes
  • Ultrasound imaging


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