A review of 3D vessel lumen segmentation techniques: Models, features and extraction schemes
This paper presents methods to model complex vasculature in three-dimensional (3-D) images using cylindroidal superellipsoids, along with robust estimation and detection algorithms for automated image analysis. This model offers an explicit, low-order parameterization, enabling joint estimation of boundary, centerlines, and local pose. It provides a geometric framework for directed vessel traversal, and extraction of topological information like branch point locations and connectivity. M-estimators provide robust region-based statistics that are used to drive the superellipsoid toward a vessel boundary. A robust likelihood ratio test is used to differentiate between noise, artifacts, and other complex unmodeled structures, thereby verifying the model estimate. The proposed methodology behaves well across scale-space, shows a high degree of insensitivity to adjacent structures and implicitly handles branching. When evaluated on synthetic imagery mimicking specific structural complexities in tumor microvasculature, it consistently produces ubvoxel accuracy estimates of centerlines and widths in the presence of closely-adjacent vessels, branch points, and noise. An edit-based validation demonstrated a precision level of 96.6% at a recall level of 95.4%. Overall, it is robust enough for large-scale application.