Automatic detection of perforator vessels using infrared thermography in reconstructive surgery.

Abstract:

PURPOSE:Knowing the location of the blood vessels supplying the skin and subcutaneous tissue is a requirement during the planning of tissue transfer in reconstructive surgery. Commonly used imaging techniques such as computed tomography angiography and indocyanine green angiography expose the patient to radiation or a contrast agent, respectively. Infrared thermal imaging was evaluated with success as a non-invasive alternative. To support the interpretation of thermograms, a method to automatically detect the perforators was developed and evaluated. METHODS:A system consisting of a thermal camera, a PC and custom software was developed. The temperature variations of the skin surface were analysed to extract the perforator locations. A study was conducted to assess the performance of the algorithm by comparing the detection results of the algorithm with manually labelled thermal images by two clinicians of the deep inferior epigastric perforator flap of 20 healthy volunteers. RESULTS:The F measure, precision and recall were used to evaluate the system performance. The median F measure is 0.833, the median precision is 0.80, and the median recall is 0.907. CONCLUSION:The results of this study showed that it is possible to automatically and reliably detect the skin perforators in thermograms despite their weak temperature signature. Infrared thermal imaging is a non-invasive and contactless approach suitable for intraoperative use. Combined with a computer-assisted tool for the automatic detection of perforator vessels, it is a relevant alternative intraoperative imaging method to the standard indocyanine green angiography.

authors

Unger M,Markfort M,Halama D,Chalopin C

doi

10.1007/s11548-018-1892-6

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-03-01 00:00:00

pages

501-507

issue

3

eissn

1861-6410

issn

1861-6429

pii

10.1007/s11548-018-1892-6

journal_volume

14

pub_type

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