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Method for Carotid Artery 3-D Ultrasound Image Segmentation Based on CSWin Transformer

      Abstract

      Precise segmentation of carotid artery (CA) structure is an important prerequisite for the medical assessment and detection of carotid plaques. For automatic segmentation of the media–adventitia boundary (MAB) and lumen–intima boundary (LIB) in 3-D ultrasound images of the CA, a U-shaped CSWin transformer (U-CSWT) is proposed. Both the encoder and decoder of the U-CSWT are composed of hierarchical CSWT modules, which can capture rich global context information in the 3-D image. Experiments were performed on a 3-D ultrasound image data set of the CA, and the results indicate that the U-CSWT performs better than other convolutional neural network (CNN)-based and CNN–transformer hybrid methods. The model yields Dice coefficients of 94.6 ± 3.0% and 90.8 ± 5.1% for the MAB and LIB in the common carotid artery (CCA) and 92.9 ± 4.9% and 89.6 ± 6.2% for MAB and LIB in the bifurcation, respectively. Our U-CSWT is expected to become an effective method for automatic segmentation of 3-D ultrasound images of CA.

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