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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter September 7, 2017

Development of a tool-kit for the detection of healthy and injured cardiac tissue based on MR imaging

Software tool for the visualization of injured cardiac tissue

  • Philip Westphal , Sebastian Hilbert , Michael Unger and Claire Chalopin EMAIL logo


Planning of interventions to treat cardiac arrhythmia requires a 3D patient specific model of the heart. Currently available commercial or free software dedicated to this task have important limitations for routinely use. Automatic algorithms are not robust enough while manual methods are time-consuming. Therefore, the project attempts to develop an optimal software tool. The heart model is generated from preoperative MR data-sets acquired with contrast agent and allows visualisation of damaged cardiac tissue. A requirement in the development of the software tool was the use of semi-automatic functions to be more robust. Once the patient image dataset has been loaded, the user selects a region of interest. Thresholding functions allow selecting the areas of high intensities which correspond to anatomical structures filled with contrast agent, namely cardiac cavities and blood vessels. Thereafter, the target-structure, for example the left ventricle, is coarsely selected by interactively outlining the gross shape. An active contour function adjusts automatically the initial contour to the image content. The result can still be manually improved using fast interaction tools. Finally, possible scar tissue located in the cavity muscle is automatically detected and visualized on the 3D heart model. The model is exported in format which is compatible with interventional devices at hospital. The evaluation of the software tool included two steps. Firstly, a comparison with two free software tools was performed on two image data sets of variable quality. Secondly, six scientists and physicians tested our tool and filled out a questionnaire. The performance of our software tool was visually judged more satisfactory than the free software, especially on the data set of lower quality. Professionals evaluated positively our functionalities regarding time taken, ease of use and quality of results. Improvements would consist in performing the planning based on different MR modalities.

Published Online: 2017-09-07

©2017 Philip Westphal et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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