Confluent Vessel Trees With Accurate Bifurcations

Zhongwen Zhang, Dmitrii Marin, Maria Drangova, Yuri Boykov; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2021, pp. 9573-9582


We are interested in unsupervised reconstruction of complex near-capillary vasculature with thousands of bifurcations where supervision and learning are infeasible. Unsupervised methods can use many structural constraints, e.g. topology, geometry, physics. Common techniques use variants of MST on geodesic "tubular graphs" minimizing symmetric pairwise costs, i.e. distances. We show limitations of such standard undirected tubular graphs producing typical errors at bifurcations where flow "directedness" is critical. We introduce a new general concept of "confluence" for continuous oriented curves forming vessel trees and show how to enforce it on discrete tubular graphs. While confluence is a high-order property, we present an efficient practical algorithm for reconstructing confluent vessel trees using minimum arborescence on a directed graph enforcing confluence via simple flow-extrapolating arc construction. Empirical tests on large near-capillary sub-voxel vasculature volumes demonstrate significantly improved reconstruction accuracy at bifurcations. Our code has also been made publicly available.

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@InProceedings{Zhang_2021_CVPR, author = {Zhang, Zhongwen and Marin, Dmitrii and Drangova, Maria and Boykov, Yuri}, title = {Confluent Vessel Trees With Accurate Bifurcations}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2021}, pages = {9573-9582} }