Biomedical Image Technologies (BIT)

Dept. Ingeniería Electrónica (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

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Research: Cardiovascular Imaging


The aim of this research line is to contribute to an early diagnosis of cardiovascular pathologies, by providing functional and quantitative information of the heart and vessels obtained from images (mainly echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography).

Our group develops theory and methods applied mainly to:

Myocardial functional analysis

Myocardial ischemia can lead to movement abnormalities of myocardial regions that could be too subtle to be detected visually. We have developed analysis programs that can provide quantitative information on the myocardial movement, with the aim of identifying and characterizing abnormalities.

B-spline non-rigid registration techniques have been optimized for cardiac motion detection on ultrasound, MRI and tagged-MRI sequences.

Specially important has been the characterization of myocardial strain, as it is an indication of active contraction.

Methodologies have been extended to three dimensions where motion can be completely characterized.

The degree of irrigation of each myocardial region can be detected by images with contrast agents. Different techniques have been developed to analyze and compensate the motion of these sequences to provide quantitative information of perfusion. Both echocardiography and first pass gadolinium MR imaging data have been studied.

Vascular imaging

Great and small vessel function is important to assess the prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular patients. Different tools have been designed to efficiently segment great and small vessels determining patient staging.

Improving image acquisition and analysis

Cardiac Imaging implies important challenges in acquisition mainly due to simultaneous cardiac and respiratory motion. Allowing free-breathing acquisition has a clear impact in acquisition time and patient comfort. Motion compensation is achieved with non rigid registration techniques. 

Image enhancement can also be achieved using registration and multiresolution techniques, allowing improved functional assessment.

Cardiac functional assessment

Contrast-enhanced MRI signal intensity of subendocardial tissue projected onto a 3D endocardial shell reconstruction of the left ventricle. These maps could help to identify conduction channels that are related to ventricular tachycardia

Image registration for cardiac motion estimation

Non-rigid registration techniques optimized for cardiac motion estimation

Myocardial perfusion detected with contrast agents

Myocardial perfusion studied using images with contrast agents. Motion compensation is required for regional analysis

Aorta segmentation

Vascular imaging: segmentation of the aorta from CT images

A key issue of this work has been the validation of the proposed software tools with a large number of experimental and clinical images, in close contact with medical personnel, leading to established collaborations:


Collaborations

Some publications

(more can be found on the Publications page)

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