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Determination of the mastoid surface area and volume based on micro-CT scanning of human temporal bone: Geometrical parameters dependence on scanning resolutions
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9091-4724
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV).
Centre for X-ray Tomography, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Ghent, Belgium.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The mastoid air cell system (MACS) with its large complex of interconnected air cells reflects an enhanced surface area (SA) relative to its volume (V), which may indicate that the MACS is adapted to gas exchange and has a potential role in middle ear pressure regulation. Thus, these geometric parameters of the MACS have been studied by high resolution clinical CT scanning. However, the resolution of these scans is limited to a voxel size of around 0.6 mm in all dimensions, and so, the geometrical parameters are also limited. Small air cells may appear below the resolution and cannot be detected. Such air cells may contribute to a much higher SA than the V, and thus, also the SA/V ratio. More accurate parameters are important for analysis of the function of the MACS including physiological modeling.

Our aim was to determine the SA, V, and SA/V ratio in MACS in human temporal bones at highest resolution by using micro-CT-scanning. Further, the influence of the resolution on these parameters was investigated by downsampling the data. Eight normally aerated temporal bones were scanned at the highest possible resolution (30-60 μm). The SA was determined using a triangular mesh fitted onto the segmented MACS. The V was determined by summing all the voxels containing air. Downsampling of the original data was applied four times by a factor of 2.

The mean SA was 194 cm2, the mean V was 9 cm3, and the mean SA/V amounted to 22 cm-1. Decreasing the resolution resulted in a non-linear decrement of SA and SA/V, whereas V was mainly independent of the resolution.

The current study found significantly higher SA and SA/V compared with previous studies using clinical CT scanning at lower resolutions. These findings indicate a separate role of the MACS compared with the tympanum, and the results are important for a more accurate modeling of the middle ear physiology.

Keyword [en]
Mastoid air cells; medical imaging; micro-CT; surface area; volume
National Category
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122176DiVA: diva2:862692
Available from: 2015-10-23 Created: 2015-10-23 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Image Analysis and Visualization of the Human Mastoid Air Cell System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Image Analysis and Visualization of the Human Mastoid Air Cell System
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

From an engineering background, it is often believed that the human anatomy has already been fully described. Radiology has greatly contributed to understand the inside of the human body without surgical intervention. Despite great advances in clinical CT scanning, image quality is still related to a limited amount X-ray exposure for the patient safety. This limitation prevents fine anatomical structures to be visible and, more importantly, to be detected. Where such modality is of great advantage for screening patients, extracting parameters like surface area and volume implies the bone structure to be large enough in relation to the scan resolution.

The mastoid, located in the temporal bone, houses an air cell system whose cells have a variation in size that can go far below current conventional clinical CT scanner resolution. Therefore, the mastoid air cell system is only partially represented on a CT scan. Any statistical analysis will be biased towards air cells of smaller size. To allow a complete representation of the mastoid air cell system, a micro-CT scanner is more adequate. Micro-CT scanning uses approximately the same amount of X-rays but for a much longer exposure time compared to what is normally allowed for patients. Human temporal bone specimens are therefore necessary when using such scanning method. Where the conventional clinical CT scanner lacks level of minutes details, micro-CT scanning provides an overwhelming amount of fine details.

Prior to any image analysis of medical data, visualization of the data is often needed to learn how to extract the structures of interest for further processing. Visualization of micro-CT scans is of no exception. Due to the high resolution nature of the data, visualization of such data not only requires modern and powerful computers, but also necessitates a tremendous amount of time to adjust the hiding of irrelevant structures, to find the correct orientation, while emphasising the structure of interest. Once the quality of the data has been assessed, and a strategy for the image processing has been decided, the image processing can start, to in turn extract metrics such as the surface area or volume and draw statistics from it. The temporal bone being one of the most complex in the human body, visualization of micro-CT scanning of this bone awakens the curiosity of the experimenter, especially with the correct visualization settings.

This thesis first presents a statistical analysis determining the surface area to volume ratio of the mastoid air cell system of human temporal bone, from micro-CT scanning using methods previously applied for conventional clinical CT scannings. The study compared current resul s with previous studies, with successive downsampling the data down to a resolution found in conventional clinical CT scanning. The results from the statistical analysis showed that all the small mastoid air cells, that cannot be detected in conventional clinical CT scans, do heavily contribute to the estimation of the surface area, and in consequence to the estimation of the surface area to volume ratio by a factor of about 2.6. Such a result further strengthens the idea of the mastoid to play an active role in pressure regulation and gas exchange.

Discovery of micro-channels through specific use of a non-traditional transfer function was then reported, where a qualitative and a quantitative preanalysis was performed are described. To gain more knowledge about these micro-channels, a local structure tensor analysis was applied where structures are described in terms of planar, tubular, or isotropic structures. The results from this structural tensor analysis, also reported in this thesis, suggest these micro-channels to potentially be part of a more complex framework, which hypothetically would provide a separate blood supply for the mucosa lining the mastoid air cell system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 100 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1730
National Category
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122179 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-122179 (DOI)978-91-7685-941-4 (print) (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-10-30, IMT 1, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 14:00 (Swedish)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-23 Created: 2015-10-23 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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