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Sherif Moursi and Mahmoud R. El-Sakka, "Initial Contour for Ultrasound Carotid Artery Snakes", IEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology, ISSPIT'2007, pp. 390-395, December 2007, Cairo, Egypt.


Since it was introduced by Kass et al., the active contour model (also known as snake model, balloon model, or deformable model) has been extensively studied and widely used in segmenting medical images, due to its robustness to both image noise and boundary gaps. Yet, active contouring is very sensitive to the initial contour that is provided by the user.

In this paper we present an algorithm for determining a good initial carotid artery lumen contour in ultrasound images. Our algorithm reduces user interaction as a user is only required to place a seed point inside the region of interest. It attempts to adjust the contour to be close enough to the actual contour. The results of our extracted initial contours have good overlap with contours that are manually delineated by an experienced clinician. In addition, the output of our proposed scheme can be perfectly used as an input to any active contour algorithm to produce even better results.