Materialise Mimics® CT Heart tool for heart chamber segmentation: quantitative validation

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In clinical practice, the extraction of ventricular and atrial functional information, such as stroke volume and ejection fraction, requires an accurate segmentation of cardiac chambers from tomography images (CT). Such segmentation of the heart chambers and vessels also finds its application in the characterization of heart defects, planning of invasive therapeutic procedures, design and validation of various medical devices.

Manual segmentation of the heart is a time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone task since the image contrast between the heart and some of the neighboring tissues (e.g., liver and diaphragm) is quite weak and valves between different heart compartments are not visualized well. Therefore, an automation of this process is highly desirable.

The new CT Heart tool was designed for the Materialise Mimics® Innovation Suite (Materialise N.V., Belgium) to provide qualitatively semi-automatic segmentations of heart chambers and vessels. In this paper we compare the outcome of the CT Heart tool to that of manual segmentation by trained users. Both the quality of the outcome and the time needed to get this outcome are investigated.

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