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Document Type


Source of Publication

NeuroImage: Clinical

Publication Date



© 2019 The Authors Hypertension is a leading cause of mortality in the USA. While simple tools such as the sphygmomanometer are widely used to diagnose hypertension, they could not predict the disease before its onset. Clinical studies suggest that alterations in the structure of human brains’ cerebrovasculature start to develop years before the onset of hypertension. In this research, we present a novel computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system for the early detection of hypertension. The proposed CAD system analyzes magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) data of human brains to detect and track the cerebral vascular alterations and this is achieved using the following steps: i) MRA data are preprocessed to eliminate noise effects, correct the bias field effect, reduce the contrast inhomogeneity using the generalized Gauss-Markov random field (GGMRF) model, and normalize the MRA data, ii) the cerebral vascular tree of each MRA volume is segmented using a 3-D convolutional neural network (3D-CNN), iii) cerebral features in terms of diameters and tortuosity of blood vessels are estimated and used to construct feature vectors, iv) feature vectors are then used to train and test various artificial neural networks to classify data into two classes; normal and hypertensive. A balanced data set of 66 subjects were used to test the CAD system. Experimental results reported a classification accuracy of 90.9% which supports the efficacy of the CAD system components to accurately model and discriminate between normal and hypertensive subjects. Clinicians would benefit from the proposed CAD system to detect and track cerebral vascular alterations over time for people with high potential of developing hypertension and to prepare appropriate treatment plans to mitigate adverse events.




Elsevier Inc.



First Page



Computer Sciences


Blood vessels, CAD, Cerebrovascular segmentation, CNN, Hypertension, TOF-MRA, Tortuosity, Vascular diameter

Scopus ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series