Ultrasound image texture analysis of the intima and media layers of the common carotid artery and its correlation with age and gender
AuthorLoizou, Christos P.
Pantzaris, Marios C.
Pattichis, Marios S.
Kyriacou, Efthyvoulos C.
Pattichis, Constantinos S.
SourceComputerized Medical Imaging and Graphics
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The intima-media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA) is widely used as an early indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It was proposed but not thoroughly investigated that the composition and texture of the media layer (ML) can be used as an indicator for the risk of stroke. In this study, we investigate the application of texture analysis of the ML of the CCA and how texture is affected by age and gender. The study was performed on 100 longitudinal-section ultrasound images acquired from asymptomatic subjects at risk of atherosclerosis. The images were separated into three different age groups, namely below 50, 50-60, and above 60 years old. Furthermore, the images were separated according to gender. A total of 61 different texture features were extracted from the intima layer (IL), the ML, and the intima-media complex (IMC). The ML and the IMC were segmented manually by a neurovascular expert and also automatically by a snakes segmentation system. We have found that male patients tended to have larger media layer thickness (MLT) values as compared to the MLT of female patients of the same age. We have found significant differences among texture features extracted from the IL, ML and IMC from different age groups. Furthermore, for some texture features, we found that they follow trends that correlate with a patient's age. For example, the gray-scale median GSM of the ML falls linearly with increasing MLT and with increasing age. Our findings suggest that ultrasound image texture analysis of the media layer has potential as an assessment biomarker for the risk of stroke. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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