Linking statistical shape models and simulated function in the healthy adult human heart

PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 Apr 15;17(4):e1008851. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008851. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Cardiac anatomy plays a crucial role in determining cardiac function. However, there is a poor understanding of how specific and localised anatomical changes affect different cardiac functional outputs. In this work, we test the hypothesis that in a statistical shape model (SSM), the modes that are most relevant for describing anatomy are also most important for determining the output of cardiac electromechanics simulations. We made patient-specific four-chamber heart meshes (n = 20) from cardiac CT images in asymptomatic subjects and created a SSM from 19 cases. Nine modes captured 90% of the anatomical variation in the SSM. Functional simulation outputs correlated best with modes 2, 3 and 9 on average (R = 0.49 ± 0.17, 0.37 ± 0.23 and 0.34 ± 0.17 respectively). We performed a global sensitivity analysis to identify the different modes responsible for different simulated electrical and mechanical measures of cardiac function. Modes 2 and 9 were the most important for determining simulated left ventricular mechanics and pressure-derived phenotypes. Mode 2 explained 28.56 ± 16.48% and 25.5 ± 20.85, and mode 9 explained 12.1 ± 8.74% and 13.54 ± 16.91% of the variances of mechanics and pressure-derived phenotypes, respectively. Electrophysiological biomarkers were explained by the interaction of 3 ± 1 modes. In the healthy adult human heart, shape modes that explain large portions of anatomical variance do not explain equivalent levels of electromechanical functional variation. As a result, in cardiac models, representing patient anatomy using a limited number of modes of anatomical variation can cause a loss in accuracy of simulated electromechanical function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed