Rationale and objectives: Aortic compliance is defined as the relative change in aortic cross-sectional area divided by the change in arterial pressure. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful imaging modality for the noninvasive evaluation of aortic compliance. However, manual tracing of the aortic contour is subject to important interobserver variations. To estimate the aortic compliance from cine-MRI, a method based on fuzzy logic theory was elaborated.
Materials and methods: Seven healthy volunteers and eight patients with Marfan syndrome were examined using an ECG gated cine-MRI sequence. The aorta was imaged in the transverse plane at the level of the pulmonary trunk. A method based on fuzzy logic was developed to automatically detect the aortic contour.
Results: Through our robust automatic contouring method, the calculation of aortic cross-sectional areas allows an estimation of the aortic compliance.
Conclusion: The aortic compliance can be obtained from a fuzzy logic based automatic contouring method, thereby avoiding the important interobserver variation often associated with manual tracing.