ECG-based frame selection and curvature-based ROI detection for measuring carotid intima-media thickness

Haripriya Sharma, Ramsri G. Golla, Yu Zhang, Christopher B. Kendall, R. Todd Hurst, Nima Tajbakhsh, Jianming Liang

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

3 Scopus citations


Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) has proven to be sensitive for predicting individual risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The CIMT is measured based on region of interest (ROIs) in end-diastolic ultrasound frames (EUFs). To interpret CIMT videos, in the current practice, the EUFs and ROIs must be manually selected, a process that is tedious and time consuming. To reduce CIMT interpretation time, this paper presents a novel method for automatically selecting EUFs and determining ROIs in ultrasound videos. The EUFs are selected based on the QRS complex of the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal associated with the ultrasound video, and the ROI is detected based on image intensity and curvature of the carotid artery bulb. Once a EUF is selected and its corresponding ROI is determined, our system measures CIMT using the snake algorithm extended with hard constraints [1,6-7] by computing the average thickness and maximum thickness, calculating the vascular age, and generating a patient report. In this study, we utilize 23 subjects. Each subject has 4 videos, and 3 EUFs are selected in each video, resulting in a total of 272 ROIs. By comparing with the reference provided by an expert for both frame selection and ROI detection, we achieve 92.96% sensitivity and 97.62% specificity for EUF selection, and 81.25% accuracy in ROI detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2014
Subtitle of host publicationUltrasonic Imaging and Tomography
ISBN (Print)9780819498335
StatePublished - 2014
EventMedical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2014Feb 20 2014

Publication series

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


OtherMedical Imaging 2014: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT)
  • cardiovascular disease
  • carotid artery bulb
  • common carotid artery (CCA)
  • end-diastolic ultrasound frame
  • snakes: active contour models

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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