New methods for the geometrical analysis of tubular organs

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HighlightsA new orthogonal plane estimator for tubular organs is proposed.It can be used directly on the 3D segmented organ.Orthogonal planes allow us to refine existing skeletons by pruning and recentering.We also use orthogonal planes to compute our own curve-skeleton.The proposed methods are robust to noise, irregularities, and handle bifurcations.Graphical abstractThis paper presents new methods to study the shape of tubular organs. Determining precise cross-sections is of major importance to perform geometrical measurements, such as diameter, wall-thickness estimation or area measurement. Our first contribution is a robust method to estimate orthogonal planes based on the Voronoi Covariance Measure. Our method is not relying on a curve-skeleton computation beforehand. This means our orthogonal plane estimator can be used either on the skeleton or on the volume. Another important step towards tubular organ characterization is achieved through curve-skeletonization, as skeletons allow to compare two tubular organs, and to perform virtual endoscopy. Our second contribution is dedicated to correcting common defects of the skeleton by new pruning and recentering methods. Finally, we propose a new method for curve-skeleton extraction. Various results are shown on different types of segmented tubular organs, such as neurons, airway-tree and blood vessels.

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