(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2003/0053697 Al
Aylward et al. (43) Pub. Date: Mar. 20,2003
(54) SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TUBULAR OBJECT PROCESSING
(76) Inventors: Stephen R. Aylward, Carrboro, NC
(US); Elizabeth Bullitt, Durham, NC
(US); Stephen M. Pizer, Chapel Hill,
NC (US); Daniel Fritsch, Chapel Hill,
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow,
Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.
1300 I Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3315 (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 09/828,200
(22) Filed: Apr. 9, 2001
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/215,115, filed on Jun. 29, 2000. Provisional application No. 60/195,200, filed on Apr. 7, 2000.
Systems and methods are disclosed for processing tubular objects in multi-dimensional images. The processing includes generating representations of tubular objects which enable subsequent analysis. Systems and methods for processing tubular objects in a multi-dimensional image include establishing a seed points in a multi-dimensional image, searching for an extremum point corresponding to a tubular object having a central curve of intensity extrema, and extracting a one-dimensional central track corresponding to the tubular object and extents corresponding to a plurality of cross-sections along the tubular object. A number of embodiments are presented which apply the systems and methods to a variety of imaging applications.