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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 957195, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/957195
Research Article

A Voxel-Map Quantitative Analysis Approach for Atherosclerotic Noncalcified Plaques of the Coronary Artery Tree

1Institute of Computing Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
2Department of Radiology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

Received 5 September 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013

Academic Editor: Heye Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Ying Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Noncalcified plaques (NCPs) are associated with the presence of lipid-core plaques that are prone to rupture. Thus, it is important to detect and monitor the development of NCPs. Contrast-enhanced coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) is a potential imaging technique to identify atherosclerotic plaques in the whole coronary tree, but it fails to provide information about vessel walls. In order to overcome the limitations of coronary CTA and provide more meaningful quantitative information for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), we proposed a Voxel-Map based on mathematical morphology to quantitatively analyze the noncalcified plaques on a three-dimensional coronary artery wall model (3D-CAWM). This approach is a combination of Voxel-Map analysis techniques, plaque locating, and anatomical location related labeling, which show more detailed and comprehensive coronary tree wall visualization.