Theme 1

Theme 1: Information integration

The rapid and recent developments on the acquisition side have enabled imaging of major parts of the cardiovascular system in one examination, and a combined imaging of different functional processes. Past efforts towards automated analysis of cardiovascular images mainly focused on single imaging modalities of individual anatomical structures. These existing methods do not exploit the recently gained information richness in the novel cardiovascular imaging protocols, leaving much of the novel diagnostic potential unused. This program will fill this technological gap by developing innovative image analysis approaches that integrate information from different imaging techniques, so as to connect information on the anatomy of the heart and major vessels (the aorta, carotid arteries and peripheral arteries) with information about different functional processes as, e.g., cardiac perfusion, inflammation, plaque composition and cardiac function. (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Integration of quantitative data from different imaging modalities will be combined to come to a complete patient-specific picture of the disease state of the individual patient. In this example, the coronary vessels from MSCT, the narrowings in the vessels and calcium from MSCT as well, left ventricular function and late enhancement (infarct imaging) from different MRI sequences, and myocardial perfusion from either MRI or nuclear cardiology. All of these data sets with widely varying resolution scales need to be registered into a common reference frame.