Extraction of open-state mitral valve geometry from CT volumes
Purpose: The importance of mitral valve therapies is rising due to an aging population. Visualization and quantification of the valve anatomy from image acquisitions is an essential component of surgical and interventional planning. The segmentation of the mitral valve from computed tomography (CT) acquisitions is challenging due to high variation in appearance and visibility across subjects. We present a novel semi-automatic approach to segment the open-state valve in 3D CT volumes that combines user-defined landmarks to an initial valve model which is automatically adapted to the image information, even if the image data provide only partial visibility of the valve. Methods: Context information and automatic view initialization are derived from segmentation of the left heart lumina, which incorporates topological, shape and regional information. The valve model is initialized with user-defined landmarks in views generated from the context segmentation and then adapted to the image data in an active surface approach guided by landmarks derived from sheetness analysis. The resulting model is refined by user landmarks. Results: For evaluation, three clinicians segmented the open valve in 10 CT volumes of patients with mitral valve insufficiency. Despite notable differences in landmark definition, the resulting valve meshes were overall similar in appearance, with a mean surface distance of 1.62 ± 2.10 mm. Each volume could be segmented in 5-22 min. Conclusions: Our approach enables an expert user to easily segment the open mitral valve in CT data, even when image noise or low contrast limits the visibility of the valve.