Assessment of cardiac motion effects on the fiber architecture of the human heart in vivo

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2013 Oct;32(10):1928-38. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2013.2269195. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


The use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for studying the human heart in vivo is very challenging due to cardiac motion. This paper assesses the effects of cardiac motion on the human myocardial fiber architecture. To this end, a model for analyzing the effects of cardiac motion on signal intensity is presented. A Monte-Carlo simulation based on polarized light imaging data is then performed to calculate the diffusion signals obtained by the displacement of water molecules, which generate diffusion weighted (DW) images. Rician noise and in vivo motion data obtained from DENSE acquisition are added to the simulated cardiac DW images to produce motion-induced datasets. An algorithm based on principal components analysis filtering and temporal maximum intensity projection (PCATMIP) is used to compensate for motion-induced signal loss. Diffusion tensor parameters derived from motion-reduced DW images are compared to those derived from the original simulated DW images. Finally, to assess cardiac motion effects on in vivo fiber architecture, in vivo cardiac DTI data processed by PCATMIP are compared to those obtained from one trigger delay (TD) or one single phase acquisition. The results showed that cardiac motion produced overestimated fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity as well as a narrower range of fiber angles. The combined use of shifted TD acquisitions and postprocessing based on image registration and PCATMIP effectively improved the quality of in vivo DW images and subsequently, the measurement accuracy of fiber architecture properties. This suggests new solutions to the problems associated with obtaining in vivo human myocardial fiber architecture properties in clinical conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Myofibrils / physiology*