Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Conti C., Votta E., Corsi C., De Marchi D., Tarroni G., Stevanella M., Lombardi M., Parodi O., Caiani E., Redaelli A. Left ventricular modelling: a quantitative functional assessment tool based on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. In: Interface Focus, vol. 1 pp. 1 - 12. Royal Society publishing, 2011. [Online First 23 March 2011]
We present the development and testing of a semi-automated tool to support the diagnosis of left ventricle (LV) dysfunctions from cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). CMR short-axis images of the LVs were obtained in 15 patients and processed to detect endocardial and epicardial contours and compute volume, mass and regional wall motion (WM). Results were compared with those obtained from manual tracing by an expert cardiologist. Nearest neighbour tracking and finite-element theory were merged to calculate local myocardial strains and torsion. The method was tested on a virtual phantom, on a healthy LV and on two ischaemic LVs with different severity of the pathology. Automated analysis of CMR data was feasible in 13/15 patients: computed LV volumes and wall mass correlated well with manually extracted data. The detection of regional WM abnormalities showed good sensitivity (77.8%), specificity (85.1%) and accuracy (82%). On the virtual phantom, computed local strains differed by less than 14 per cent from the results of commercial finite-element solver. Strain calculation on the healthy LV showed uniform and synchronized circumferential strains, with peak shortening of about 20 per cent at end systole, progressively higher systolic wall thickening going from base to apex, and a 108 torsion. In the two pathological LVs, synchronicity and homogeneity were partially lost, anomalies being more evident for the more severely injured LV. Moreover, LV torsion was dramatically reduced. Preliminary testing confirmed the validity of our approach, which allowed for the fast analysis of LV function, even though future improvements are possible.
DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2010.0029
Subject left ventricle
ischaemic cardiomyopathy
cardiac magnetic resonance
diagnostic tool

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