This study deals with the creation of 3D models that can work as a tool for discriminating between tissue and background in the development of tissue classification methods. Ten formalin-fixed atherosclerotic carotid plaques removed by endarterectomy were scanned with 3D multi-angle spatial compound ultrasound (US) and subsequently sliced and photographed to produce a 3D anatomical data set. Outlines in the ultrasound data were found by means of active contours and combined into 10 3D ultrasound models. The plaque regions of the anatomical photographs were outlined manually and then combined into 10 3D anatomical models. The volumes of the anatomical models correlated with the volume found by a water displacement method (r = 0.95), except for an offset. The models were compared in three ways. Visual inspection showed quite good agreement between the models. The volumes of the ultrasound models correlated with the volumes of the anatomical models (r = 0.93), again with an offset. Finally, the overlap between the anatomical models and the ultrasound models showed, on average, that the intersection comprised 90%vol of the anatomical models and 73%vol of the ultrasound models.
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 2007, Vol 33, Issue 7, p. 1064-1074