A Tensor-based Catheter and Wire Detection and Tracking Framework and Its Clinical Applications

YingLiang Ma, DiWei Zhou, Lei Ye, Richard James Houston, Ansab Fazili, Kawal Rhode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Catheters and wires are used extensively in cardiac catheterization procedures. Detecting their positions in fluoroscopic X-ray images is important for several clinical applications such as motion compensation and co-registration between 2D and 3D imaging modalities. Detecting the complete length of a catheter or wire object as well as electrode positions on the catheter or wire is a challenging task.

Method: In this paper, an automatic detection framework for catheters and wires is developed. It is based on path reconstruction from image tensors, which are eigen direction vectors generated from a multiscale vessel enhancement filter. A catheter or a wire object is detected as the smooth path along those eigen direction vectors. Furthermore, a real-time tracking method based on a template generated from the detection method was developed.

Results: The proposed framework was tested on a total of 7,754 X-ray images. Detection errors for catheters and guidewires are 0.56 0.28 mm and 0.68 0.33 mm, respectively. The proposed framework was also tested and validated in two clinical applications. For motion compensation using catheter tracking, the 2D target registration errors (TRE) of 1.8 mm 0.9 mm was achieved. For co-registration between 2D X-ray images and 3D models from MRI images, a TRE of 2.3 0.9 mm was achieved.

Conclusion: A novel and fully automatic detection framework and its clinical applications are developed.

Significance: The proposed framework can be applied to improve the accuracy of image-guidance systems for cardiac catheterization procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date5 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


This work was supported by core funding from the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering [WT203148/Z/16/Z] and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.


  • Cardiac catheterization procedures
  • Motion correction
  • Wire detection
  • Catheter detection
  • Image-guided intervention
  • Electrophysiology
  • Heart
  • Catheters
  • X-ray imaging
  • Electrodes
  • Tensors
  • Three-dimensional displays
  • Wires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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