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4D Cardiac Reconstruction

Following a heart attack or the development of some cardiovascular diseases, the movement of the heart walls during the cardiac cycle may change, which affects the motion of blood through the heart, potentially leading to an increased risk of thrombus. While Doppler ultrasound and MRI can be used to monitor valvular blood flow, the image resolutions are low and they cannot capture the interactions between the highly complex heart wall and the blood flow. For this reason, with the rapid development of high-resolution cardiac CT, patient-specific blood flow simulation can provide a useful tool for the study of cardiac blood flow.

Recent developments on CT technologies have made the acquisition of high-resolution 4D  cardiac images possible. We present a framework that uses this data to reconstruct the 4D motion of the endocardial surface of the left ventricle for a full cardiac cycle. This reconstruction framework captures the motion of the full 3D surfaces of the complex anatomical features, such as the papillary muscles and the ventricular trabeculae, for the first time.

We then present a method to simulate and visualize blood flow through the heart, using the reconstructed 4D motion of the endocardial surface of the left ventricle as boundary conditions. The reconstruction captures the motion of the full 3D surfaces of the complex features, such as the papillary muscles and the ventricular trabeculae. We use visualizations of the flow field to view the interactions between the blood and the trabeculae in far more detail than has been achieved previously, which promises to give a better understanding of cardiac flow.