Estimating cardiomyofiber strain in vivo by solving a computational model

Perotti, L.E. and Verzhbinsky, I.A. and Moulin, K. and Cork, T.E. and Loecher, M. and Balzani, D. and Ennis, D.B.

Volume: 68 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/
Published: 2021

Since heart contraction results from the electrically activated contraction of millions of cardiomyocytes, a measure of cardiomyocyte shortening mechanistically underlies cardiac contraction. In this work we aim to measure preferential aggregate cardiomyocyte (“myofiber”) strains based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data acquired to measure both voxel-wise displacements through systole and myofiber orientation. In order to reduce the effect of experimental noise on the computed myofiber strains, we recast the strains calculation as the solution of a boundary value problem (BVP). This approach does not require a calibrated material model, and consequently is independent of specific myocardial material properties. The solution to this auxiliary BVP is the displacement field corresponding to assigned values of myofiber strains. The actual myofiber strains are then determined by minimizing the difference between computed and measured displacements. The approach is validated using an analytical phantom, for which the ground-truth solution is known. The method is applied to compute myofiber strains using in vivo displacement and myofiber MRI data acquired in a mid-ventricular left ventricle section in N=8 swine subjects. The proposed method shows a more physiological distribution of myofiber strains compared to standard approaches that directly differentiate the displacement field. © 2020

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