Theme 2

Theme 2: 3D & 4D cardiovascular image analysis

Since the heart is a dynamic organ, robust and accurate segmentation techniques are required to analyze the entire volumetric organ over the complete cardiac cycle. This has been demonstrated to be much harder than anticipated and available approaches have not resulted in routinely acceptable performances. New, innovative approaches are necessary to come up with solutions that will be acceptable in terms of accuracy, robustness and speed in daily clinical routine. In addition, there is an increased need for instantaneous translation of image data to functional parameters, as e.g. transvalvular flow assessment (See Figure 3).

Finally, new approaches for whole body imaging and concurrent analysis of the entire vascular system are needed, so that early signs of atherosclerotic disease can be detected.

Figure 3: Trans-valvular flow assessment using 3D phase-contrast MRI with velocity-encoding in three directions. Vectors indicate magnitude and direction of blood flow throughout the cardiac cycle. Using retrospective valve tracking, trans-valvular flow across the valves can be derived to quantify the severity of mitral regurgitation and to assess diastolic function parameters.