Three-dimensional models of individual cardiac histoanatomy: tools and challenges

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1080:301-19. doi: 10.1196/annals.1380.023.


There is a need for, and utility in, the acquisition of data sets of cardiac histoanatomy, with the vision of reconstructing individual hearts on the basis of noninvasive imaging, such as MRI, enriched by reference to detailed atlases of serial histology obtained from representative samples. These data sets would be useful not only as a repository of knowledge regarding the specifics of cardiac histoanatomy, but could form the basis for generation of individualized high-resolution cardiac structure-function models. The current article presents a step in this general direction: it illustrates how whole-heart noninvasive imaging can be combined with whole-heart histology in an approach to achieve automated construction of histoanatomically detailed models of cardiac 3D structure and function at hitherto unprecedented resolution and accuracy (based on 26.4 x 26.4 x 24.4 microm MRI voxel size, and enriched by histological detail). It provides an overview of the tools used in this quest and outlines challenges posed by the approach in the light of applications that may benefit from the availability of such data and tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Rabbits