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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter November 26, 2020

Simulating a Ground Truth for Transit Time Analysis of Indicator Dilution Curves

Michael Reiß EMAIL logo , Ady Naber and Werner Nahm


Transit times of a bolus through an organ can provide valuable information for researchers, technicians and clinicians. Therefore, an indicator is injected and the temporal propagation is monitored at two distinct locations. The transit time extracted from two indicator dilution curves can be used to calculate for example blood flow and thus provide the surgeon with important diagnostic information. However, the performance of methods to determine the transit time Δt cannot be assessed quantitatively due to the lack of a sufficient and trustworthy ground truth derived from in vivo measurements. Therefore, we propose a method to obtain an in silico generated dataset of differently subsampled indicator dilution curves with a ground truth of the transit time. This method allows variations on shape, sampling rate and noise while being accurate and easily configurable. COMSOL Multiphysics is used to simulate a laminar flow through a pipe containing blood analogue. The indicator is modelled as a rectangular function of concentration in a segment of the pipe. Afterwards, a flow is applied and the rectangular function will be diluted. Shape varying dilution curves are obtained by discrete-time measurement of the average dye concentration over different cross-sectional areas of the pipe. One dataset is obtained by duplicating one curve followed by subsampling, delaying and applying noise. Multiple indicator dilution curves were simulated, which are qualitatively matching in vivo measurements. The curves temporal resolution, delay and noise level can be chosen according to the requirements of the field of research. Various datasets, each containing two corresponding dilution curves with an existing ground truth transit time, are now available. With additional knowledge or assumptions regarding the detection-specific transfer function, realistic signal characteristics can be simulated. The accuracy of methods for the assessment of Δt can now be quantitatively compared and their sensitivity to noise evaluated.

Published Online: 2020-11-26
Published in Print: 2020-09-01

© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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

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