A robust and efficient approach to reconstruction of the descending thoracic aorta from contiguous 3-D transesophageal echocardiographic (TEE) images is proposed. An ad hoc image acquisition protocol was designed to acquire ordered and partially overlapped 3-D TEE data sets, followed by dedicated image processing to align and fuse all acquired data sets. Alignment strategy implemented pairwise rigid registration guided by a priori knowledge, and it was validated using artificially misaligned images. Image fusion was finally performed to enable visualization and analysis of extended field-of-view of the acquired aorta. The application of different fusion techniques was also investigated. The method was applied to a population of 17 consecutive patients. Qualitative and quantitative results supported the feasibility and accuracy of the proposed approach. In a clinical scenario, its application could allow the quantitative assessment of aortic plaque burden in the descending thoracic aorta from 3-D TEE images.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology|
|Early online date||13 Feb 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2015|