Evaluation of the effect of myocardial segmentation errors on myocardial blood flow estimates from DCE-MRI

J. Biglands*, D. Magee, R. Boyle, A. Larghat, S. Plein, A. Radjenović

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


Quantitative analysis of cardiac dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) perfusion datasets is dependent on the drawing (manually or automatically) of myocardial contours. The required accuracy of these contours for myocardial blood flow (MBF) estimation is not well understood. This study investigates the relationship between myocardial contour errors and MBF errors. Myocardial contours were manually drawn on DCE-MRI perfusion datasets of healthy volunteers imaged in systole. Systematic and random contour errors were simulated using spline curves and the resulting errors in MBF were calculated. The degree of contour error was also evaluated by two recognized segmentation metrics. We derived contour error tolerances in terms of the maximum deviation (MD) a contour could deviate radially from the 'true' contour expressed as a fraction of each volunteer's mean myocardial width (MW). Significant MBF errors were avoided by setting tolerances of MD ≤ 0.4 MW, when considering the whole myocardium, MD ≤ 0.3 MW, when considering six radial segments, and MD ≤ 0.2 MW for further subdivision into endo- and epicardial regions, with the exception of the anteroseptal region, which required greater accuracy. None of the considered segmentation metrics correlated with MBF error; thus, both segmentation metrics and MBF errors should be used to evaluate contouring algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2423-2443
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium/metabolism
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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