Construction of realistic branched, three-dimensional arteries suitable for computational modelling of flow
Routinely performed biplane digital coronary angiograms were used to construct a three-dimensional model of the coronary arteries. The technique took the images and automatically picked the centreline and radii in each. By reading the information contained in the DICOM format, the rotation angle between the two images could be ascertained, and the centreline in three dimensions could be determined. Once the centreline and radii had been calculated, a finite volume mesh of the artery was constructed that could be used as input into a fluid dynamics package that solves Navier-Stokes equations. A four-section method was adopted for constructing the mesh, utilising three tubular segments and a small junction section. The tubes were constructed automatically, and the junction procedure was semiatomated, maximising user-control over this region. A structured mesh was used for the tubes, and an unstructured mesh was used to model accurately the irregular shape of the junction. The accuracy of the reconstruction method was established by projection of a mesh onto an independent image of the same artery and the use of a coronary phantom. These tests, along with calibration of the edge detection, established an error of less than 2% in the model.
Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing