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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 127010, 7 pages
Research Article

Method for 3D Airway Topology Extraction

1Institute of Functional and Applied Anatomy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
2REBIRTH Cluster of Excellence, Hannover, Germany
3Biomedical Research in Endstage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Hannover, Germany
4Biomedical Optics Department, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Hannover, Germany
5Department of Cardiothoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery (HTTG), Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
6Institut für Informationsverarbeitung, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Received 28 November 2014; Revised 16 January 2015; Accepted 17 January 2015

Academic Editor: Akimasa Hirata

Copyright © 2015 Roman Grothausmann 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.


In lungs the number of conducting airway generations as well as bifurcation patterns varies across species and shows specific characteristics relating to illnesses or gene variations. A method to characterize the topology of the mouse airway tree using scanning laser optical tomography (SLOT) tomograms is presented in this paper. It is used to test discrimination between two types of mice based on detected differences in their conducting airway pattern. Based on segmentations of the airways in these tomograms, the main spanning tree of the volume skeleton is computed. The resulting graph structure is used to distinguish between wild type and surfactant protein (SP-D) deficient knock-out mice.