Aorta segmentation in non-contrast cardiac CT images using an entropy-based cost function

Olga C. Avila-Montes, Uday Kukure, Ioannis A. Kakadiaris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that aortic calcification is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, aortic calcium assessment can be performed on standard cardiac calcium scoring Computed Tomography scans, which may help to avoid additional imaging studies. In this paper, we present an entropy-based, narrow band restricted, iterative method for segmentation of the ascending aorta in non-contrast CT images, as a step towards aortic calcification detection and pericardial fat quantitation. First, an estimate of the aorta center and radius is obtained by applying dynamic programming in Hough space. In the second step, these estimates serve to reduce the aorta boundary search area to within a narrow band, and the contour is updated iteratively using dynamic programming methods. Our algorithm is able to overcome the limitations of previous approaches in characterizing (i) the boundary edge features and (ii) non-circular shape at aortic root. The results from the proposed method compare favorably with the manually traced aorta boundaries and outperform other approaches in terms of boundary distance and volume overlap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2010
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2010
EventMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 16 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2010: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • aorta segmentation
  • dynamic programming
  • entropy
  • non-contrast computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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