Virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) is a clinically available technique for atherosclerosis plaque characterization. It, however, suffers from a poor longitudinal resolution due to electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated acquisition. This article presents an effective algorithm for IVUS image-based histology to overcome this limitation. After plaque area extraction within an input IVUS image, a textural analysis procedure consisting of feature extraction and classification steps is proposed. The pixels of the extracted plaque area excluding the shadow region were classified into one of the three plaque components of fibro-fatty (FF), calcification (CA) or necrotic core (NC) tissues. The average classification accuracy for pixel and region based validations is 75% and 87% respectively. Sensitivities (specificities) were 79% (85%) for CA, 81% (90%) for FF and 52% (82%) for NC. The kappa (k)50.61 and p value50.02 indicate good agreement of the proposed method withVHimages. Finally, the enhancement in the longitudinal resolution was evaluated by reconstructing the IVUS images between the two sequential IVUS-VH images.
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 36, No. 8, pp 1245-1258; 2010