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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

ISSN Imprimir: 0278-940X
ISSN En Línea: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2014012135
pages 369-381

A Morphological Algorithm for Measuring Angle of Airway Branches in Lung CT Images

Mohammadreza Heydarian
Department of Computing and Software, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario, Canada
Michael D. Noseworthy
Imaging Research Centre, St. Josephs Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; McMaster School of Biomedical Engineering, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Hamilton Health Sciences, Department of Radiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Markad V. Kamath
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5 Canada
Colm Boylan
Department of Radiology, McMaster University and St. Joseph's Health Care Hamilton
W. F. S. Poehlman
Department of Computing and Software, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario, Canada


Accurate measurement of human airway lumen bifurcation angle in the bronchial tree may be an important parameter for evidence of pulmonary diseases. Here, we describe a new method for recognizing and following airway bifurcation over numerous contiguous CT images. Based on morphological properties of airways and specific changes to airway properties while digitally navigating through the bifurcation, our method is able to track airways through several levels of bifurcation. Then, based on the center of the lumen area, determined by the level set segmentation algorithm, we estimate the centerline of each branch and calculate the angle between two bifurcating branches. By applying this method to an airway imaging phantom, we obtained accurate results in a short computational time. This new approach provides a rapid, automated, and accurate lung airway angle measurement and may prove useful to radiologists who use CT images for pulmonary disease assessment.