Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2983-2524

Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Brandon Fornwalt

Second Advisor

Dr. Abhijit Patwardhan

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that cardiac mechanics (e.g. cardiac strains) are better measures of heart function compared to common clinical metrics like ejection fraction. However, commonly-used parameters of cardiac mechanics remain limited to just a few measurements averaged over the whole left ventricle. We hypothesized that recent advances in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be extended to provide measures of cardiac mechanics throughout the left and right ventricles (LV and RV, respectively).

Displacement Encoding with Stimulated Echoes (DENSE) is a cardiac MRI technique that has been validated for measuring LV mechanics at a magnetic field strength of 1.5 T but not at higher field strengths such as 3.0 T. However, it is desirable to perform DENSE at 3.0 T, which would yield a better signal to noise ratio for imaging the thin RV wall. Results in Chapter 2 support the hypothesis that DENSE has similar accuracy at 1.5 and 3.0 T.

Compared to standard, clinical cardiac MRI, DENSE requires more expertise to perform and is not as widely used. If accurate mechanics could be measured from standard MRI, the need for DENSE would be reduced. However, results from Chapter 3 support the hypothesis that measured cardiac mechanics from standard MRI do not agree with, and thus cannot be used in place of, measurements from DENSE.

Imaging the thin RV wall with its complex contraction pattern requires both three-dimensional (3D) measures of myocardial motion and higher resolution imaging. Results from Chapter 4 support the hypothesis that a lower displacement-encoding frequency can be used to allow for easier processing of 3D DENSE images. Results from Chapter 5 support the hypothesis that images with higher resolution (decreased blurring) can be achieved by using more spiral interleaves during the DENSE image acquisition.

Finally, processing DENSE images to yield measures of cardiac mechanics in the LV is relatively simple due to the LV’s mostly cylindrical geometry. Results from Chapter 6 support the hypothesis that a local coordinate system can be adapted to the geometry of the RV to quantify mechanics in an equivalent manner as the LV.

In summary, cardiac mechanics can now be quantified throughout the left and right ventricles using DENSE cardiac MRI.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.409

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