Diagnostic fidelity of the Z-buffer segmentation algorithm: Preliminary assessment based on intracranial aneurysm detection

Brian E. Chapman, Dennis L. Parker, Janet O. Stapelton, Jay S. Tsuruda, Claudia Mello-Thoms, Bronwin Hamilton, Gregory L. Katzman, Kevin Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have developed an algorithm known as the Z-buffer segmentation (ZBS) algorithm for segmenting vascular structures from 3D MRA images. Previously we evaluated the accuracy of the ZBS algorithm on a voxel level in terms of inclusion and exclusion of vascular and background voxels. In this paper we evaluate the diagnostic fidelity of the ZBS algorithm. By diagnostic fidelity we mean that the data preserves the structural information necessary for diagnostic evaluation. This evaluation is necessary to establish the potential usefulness of the segmentation for improved image display, or whether the segmented data could form the basis of a computerized analysis tool. We assessed diagnostic fidelity by measuring how well human observers could detect aneurysms in the segmented data sets. ZBS segmentation of 30 MRA cases containing 29 aneurysms was performed. Image display used densitometric reprojections with shaded surface highlighting that were generated from the segmented data. Three neuroradiologists independently reviewed the generated ZBS images for aneurysms. The observers had 80% sensitivity (90% for aneurysms larger than 2mm) with 0.13 false positives per image. Good agreement with the gold standard for describing aneurysm size and orientation was shown. These preliminary results suggest that the segmentation has diagnostic fidelity with the original data and may be useful for improved visualization or automated analysis of the vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Image segmentation
  • Intracranial aneurysms
  • Magnetic resonance angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic fidelity of the Z-buffer segmentation algorithm: Preliminary assessment based on intracranial aneurysm detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this