A high-resolution atlas and statistical model of the human heart from multislice CT

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2013 Jan;32(1):28-44. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2012.2230015. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Atlases and statistical models play important roles in the personalization and simulation of cardiac physiology. For the study of the heart, however, the construction of comprehensive atlases and spatio-temporal models is faced with a number of challenges, in particular the need to handle large and highly variable image datasets, the multi-region nature of the heart, and the presence of complex as well as small cardiovascular structures. In this paper, we present a detailed atlas and spatio-temporal statistical model of the human heart based on a large population of 3D+time multi-slice computed tomography sequences, and the framework for its construction. It uses spatial normalization based on nonrigid image registration to synthesize a population mean image and establish the spatial relationships between the mean and the subjects in the population. Temporal image registration is then applied to resolve each subject-specific cardiac motion and the resulting transformations are used to warp a surface mesh representation of the atlas to fit the images of the remaining cardiac phases in each subject. Subsequently, we demonstrate the construction of a spatio-temporal statistical model of shape such that the inter-subject and dynamic sources of variation are suitably separated. The framework is applied to a 3D+time data set of 138 subjects. The data is drawn from a variety of pathologies, which benefits its generalization to new subjects and physiological studies. The obtained level of detail and the extendability of the atlas present an advantage over most cardiac models published previously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atlases as Topic
  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*