Software for 2D and 3D ultrasound-based imaging for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases.
- Ultrasound based imaging system that can quantify and display cardiac myofiber structures and functions.
- Can be used for the quantification of cardiac physiology in healthy subjects and quantification and diagnosis of pathology in affected patients.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease every year. Over $410.5 million was spent globally on cardiovascular monitoring devices in 2010, and this market is expected to grow in the coming years due to an aging population and increased insurance coverage. Currently, cardiovascular MR (CMR) is the current standard for non-invasive assessment of cardiac function. One of the major limitations of this type of procedure is that it cannot be used on patients with metallic implants such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and insulin pumps. In addition, the image produced by CMR is not ideal due to continuous movement of the heart during the imaging process. Ultrasound-based imaging technology would be a better fit for heart imaging because there are no patient restrictions. Ultrasound imaging can create 2D or 3D images in real time, and tissue movement would have no detrimental effects on the resulting image.
Cardiac myofibers, the basic structural, mechanical, and electrophysiological units of the heart, play important roles in diastolic or systolic cycles. Cardiac remodeling, which includes differential myofiber protein assembly, has been implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases. The orientation of cardiac myofibers is important because they determine the stress distribution on the cardiac walls and the ability of the heart to circulate blood. One potential way to determine if patients are at risk for a heart attack or other severe cardiovascular event is to closely examine the structure and function of cardiac myofibers. Researchers at Emory have developed software for the quantification of myofiber structure extraction and assessment of cardiac function. Using ultrasound images, computer algorithms are either used for myofiber extraction or image registration. Cardiac myofiber functions and structures, including myofiber orientation and geometric distributions, are calculated based from the acquired 2D or 3D ultrasound images. Structures and functions can be displayed as 2D images or 3D volumes while myofiber function is displayed as a 1D curve. Using this technology, physicians would be able to obtain accurate, detailed information about cardiac myofibers and cardiac function as a whole without the need of an MR exam.
Methods were validated using phantom studies and imaging of porcine hearts.
Publication: Qin X et al. Proc. SPIE. 8675, Medical Imaging 2013: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy 867507 (March 29, 2013)