Automated Airway Lumen Segmentation and Characterization in Patients with Tracheomalacia: a Feasibility Study

P. Wielopolski, P. Ciet, R. Manniesing, S. Lever, M. Lequin, G. Krestin and H. Tiddens

Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2011.

Tracheomalacia is an excessive narrowing of the intra-thoracic part of the trachea such that the airway is softer and more susceptible to collapse. We demonstrate a suitable acquisition scenario using static and dynamic 3D MRI sequences with sufficient temporal and spatial resolution to provide good morphological information and visualization of dynamic events in the central airways. We evaluate a segmentation and dynamic analysis tool to compute the cross-sectional areas of the central airways down to the 2nd generation branching and detect airway narrowing during the respiratory manouvers. We conclude that cine-MRI is a feasible non-invasive radiation free alternative for bronchoscopy.