Statistical Models of the Architecture and Function of the Left Ventricle
Place: Large Lecture Room
Affiliation: Computer Vision Centre and Dep. of Computer Science, UAB
Cardiovascular Diseases, specially those affecting the Left Ventricle (LV), are the leading cause of death in developed countries with approximately a 30% of all global deaths. In order to address this public health concern, physicians focus on diagnosis and therapy planning. On one hand, early and accurate detection of Regional Wall Motion Abnormalities (RWMA) significantly contributes to a quick diagnosis and prevents the patient to reach more severe stages. On the other hand, a thouroughly knowledge of the normal gross anatomy of the LV, as well as, the distribution of its muscular fibers is crucial for designing specific interventions and therapies (such as pacemaker implanction). Statistical models obtained from the analysis of different imaging modalities allow the computation of the normal ranges of variation within a given population. Normality models are a valuable tool for the definition of objective criterions quantifying the degree of (anomalous) deviation of the LV function and anatomy for a given subject. The creation of statistical models involve addressing three main issues: extraction of data from images, definition of a common domain for comparison of data across patients and designing appropriate statistical analysis schemes. In this PhD thesis we present generic image processing tools for the creation of statistical models of the LV anatomy and function. On one hand, we use differential geometry concepts to define a computational framework (the Normalized Parametric Domain, NPD) suitable for the comparison and fusion of several clinical scores obtained over the LV. On the other hand, we present a variational approach (the Harmonic Phase Flow, HPF) for the estimation of myocardial motion that provides dense and continuous vector fields without overestimating motion at injured areas. These tools are used for the creation of statistical models. Regarding anatomy, we obtain an atlas jointly modelling, both, LV gross anatomy and fiber architecture. Regarding function, we compute normality patterns of scores characterizing the (global and local) LV function and explore, for the first time, the configuration of local scores better suited for RWMA detection.