Cardiac muscle fibers directly affect the mechanical, physiological and pathological properties of the heart. Patient-specific quantification of cardiac fiber orientations is an important but difficult problem in cardiac imaging research. We proposed a cardiac fiber orientation estimation method based on three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound images and a cardiac fiber template that was obtained from magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). A DTI template based framework was developed to estimate cardiac fiber orientations from 3D ultrasound images using an animal model. It estimated the cardiac fiber orientations of the target heart by deforming the fiber orientations of the template heart, based on the deformation field of the registration between the ultrasound geometry of the target heart and the MRI geometry of the template heart. In the experiments, the animal hearts were imaged by high-frequency ultrasound, T1-weighted MRI, and high-resolution DTI. Our proposed method was evaluated by four different parameters: Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), target errors, acute angle error (AAE), and inclination angle error (IAE). Its ability of estimating cardiac fiber orientations was firstly validated by a public database. Then, the performance of the proposed method on 3D ultrasound data was evaluated by an acquired database. The feasibility of this framework was also performed on 3D ultrasound images of a beating heart. Our proposed framework and its further improvements could contribute to understanding the dynamic mechanism of the beating heart and has the potential to help diagnosis and therapy of heart disease.
Rat Heart Fiber Estimates
Canine Heart Fiber Estimates