RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. Accurate image segmentation is essential for the study of mechanical properties of the myocardium by tagged magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The relative accuracy of three methods of segmentation of myocardial borders and tags and their impact on myocardial strain calculations were evaluated. METHODS. Radially tagged, spin-echo magnetic resonance (MR) images of dog hearts were segmented manually, automatically, and semiautomatically. The variability of segmentation methods was separately determined for myocardial contours and tags. Error propagation assessment for strain calculation was estimated. RESULTS. The variability of the segmentation of the contours was five times greater than that of the tags. The error propagation is nonuniform in all directions, maximal for the radial component of strain. CONCLUSION. Errors in the segmentation of myocardial contours are significantly greater than those of the tags. Strain calculations should be based solely on segmentation of MR tags to avoid significant errors, particularly in radial strain estimates.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
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