Chapter 6
Cardiovascular Elasticity Imaging


The leading cause of death in men and women in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Its early detection is the key in reducing the associated death toll. The ultimate objective in cardiac diagnostic imaging of this project is to develop a highly reliable and low-cost imaging technique for the mapping of ischemia and infarction. Cardiovascular elasticity imaging can, in the myocardium, detect and quantify the extent of ischemia and infarction, at and beyond its onset due to the associated significantly altered stiffness of the muscle. Further benefiting from the real-time capability and portability of this technology, this information can ultimately be delivered in an emergency room setting to aid the early diagnosis and treatment of people suffering from myocardial infarcts. Before these benefits can be realized, however, the elastographic technique must be validated and angle-independent regional deformation estimates of the myocardium throughout a cardiac cycle obtained through the use of a theoretical, biomechanical analysis, experimental phantoms and appropriate animal models. The proposed methodology was also compared to the current gold standard for mapping of myocardial deformation, MRI tagging. In the vascular application, Pulse Wave Imaging is a technique that can detect abdominal aortic aneurysms at an early stage by utilizing the pulse wave propagation and its changed characteristics in the presence of disease. Should the results of this study indicate high reliability of the elasticity imaging findings for detection of early ischemic onset, these novel imaging techniques could be readily applied in an emergency room setting as part of a standard clinical protocol for early detection, and thus prevention, of cardiac or vascular disease as well as a reliable tool for better treatment guidance. The eventual goal of these technologies is thus to become a specific method in standard clinical practice for real-time imaging of the position and severity of cardiovascular abnormalities, improving care and outcomes at little more cost or risk than that of a clinical ultrasound.

  • Abstract
  • 6.1 Cardiovascular Applications
  • 6.1.1 Cardiac Applications
  • 6.1.2 Vascular and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Applications
  • 6.2 Elasticity Imaging Methods and Findings
  • 6.2.1 Two-dimensional Myocardial Elastography
  • 6.2.2 Ultrasound and Tagged MRI Clinical Data Acquisition
  • 6.3 PWI for Vascular Disease Detection
  • 6.3.1 AAA Animal Model
  • 6.3.2 Human Applications
  • 6.4 Conclusion
  • References

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