Intramyocardial strain estimation from cardiac cine MRI

Ahmed Elnakib, Garth M. Beache, Georgy Gimel’farb, Ayman El-Baz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Functional strain is one of the important clinical indicators for the quantification of heart performance and the early detection of cardiovascular diseases, and functional strain parameters are used to aid therapeutic decisions and follow-up evaluations after cardiac surgery. A comprehensive framework for deriving functional strain parameters at the endocardium, epicardium, and mid-wall of the left ventricle (LV) from conventional cine MRI data was developed and tested. Methods: Cine data were collected using short TR-/TE-balanced steady-state free precession acquisitions on a 1.5T Siemens Espree scanner. The LV wall borders are segmented using a level set-based deformable model guided by a stochastic force derived from a second-order Markov–Gibbs random field model that accounts for the object shape and appearance features. Then, the mid-wall of the segmented LV is determined based on estimating the centerline between the endocardium and epicardium of the LV. Finally, a geometrical Laplace-based method is proposed to track corresponding points on successive myocardial contours throughout the cardiac cycle in order to characterize the strain evolutions. The method was tested using simulated phantom images with predefined point locations of the LV wall throughout the cardiac cycle. The method was tested on 30 in vivo datasets to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed framework to index functional strain parameters. Results: The cine MRI-based model agreed with the ground truth for functional metrics to within 0.30 % for indexing the peak systolic strain change and 0.29 % (per unit time) for indexing systolic and diastolic strain rates. The method was feasible for in vivo extraction of functional strain parameters. Conclusion: Strain indexes of the endocardium, mid-wall, and epicardium can be derived from routine cine images using automated techniques, thereby improving the utility of cine MRI data for characterization of myocardial function. Unlike traditional texture-based tracking, the proposed geometrical method showed the ability to track the LV wall points throughout the cardiac cycle, thus permitting more accurate strain estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1299-1312
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 5 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this