MORPHOLOGICAL QUANTIFICATION OF AORTIC CALCIFICATION FROM LOW MAGNIFICATION IMAGES

Jesús Angulo, Thao Nguyen-Khoa, Ziad A Massy, Tilman Drüeke, Jean Serra

Abstract

Atherosclerotic and medial vascular calcifications are frequent in chronic renal failure patiens and predict their increased cardiovascular mortality. Experimental models for mice have been recently developed in order to study these disorders. The aim of this paper is to present the morphological image processing algorithms developed for the semi-automated measurement of calcification from sections of aorta stained using von Kossa's silver nitrate procedure and acquired at low magnification power (x 2.5) on colour images. The approach is separated into two sequential phases. First, the segmentation is aimed to extract the calcification structures and on the other hand to demarcate the region of the atherosclerotic lesion within the tissue. The segmentation yields the image data which is the input to the second phase, the quantification. Calcified structures are measured inside and outside the lesion using a granulometric curve which allows the calculation of statistical parameters of size. The same operator computes the shape of the lesion. The relative proportion of the area of calcification is also calculated respectively for the atherosclerotic lesion area and the area outside such lesions. In conclusion, the here developed method allows quantification of vascular calcified deposits in mouse aorta. This method will be useful for the quantitative assessment of pathological vascular changes in animals and man.

Keywords
aortic calcification; automation in bioimaging; low magnification histology; mathematical morphology; nephrology; quantitative image analysis

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.v22.p81-89

Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)