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Left ventricular ejection fraction assessment: unraveling the bias between area- and volume-based estimates
Author(s): Dawei Liu; Isabelle Peck; Shusil Dangi; Karl Q. Schwarz; Cristian A. Linte
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Paper Abstract

Calculating left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) accurately is crucial for the clinical diagnosis of cardiac disease, patient management, or other therapeutic treatment decisions. The measure of a patient's LVEF often affects their candidacy for cardiovascular intervention. Ultrasound (US) is one of the imaging modalities used to non-invasively assess LVEF, and it is the most common and least expensive. Despite the advances in 3D US transducer technology, only limited US machines are equipped with such transducer to enable true 3D US image acquisition. Thus, 2D US images remain to be widely used by cardiologists to image the heart and their interpretation is inherently based on two dimensional information immediately available in the US images. Past knowledge indicates that visual estimation of the LVEF based on the area changes of the left ventricle blood pool between systole and diastole (as depicted in 2D ultrasound images) may significantly underestimate the ejection fraction, rendering some patients as suitable candidates for potentially unnecessary interventions or implantation of assistive devices. True LVEF should be calculated based on changes in LV volumes, but equipment and time constraint limit the current technique to assess 3D LV geometry. The estimation of the systolic and diastolic blood pool volumes requires additional work beyond a simple visual assessment of the blood pool area changed in the 2D US images. Specifically, following the manual segmentation of the endocardial LV border, 3D volume would be assessed by reconstructing a LV volume from multiple tomographic views. In this work, we leverage on two idealized mathematical models of the left ventricle | a truncated prolate spheroid (TPS) and a paraboloid geometric model to characterize the LV shape according to the range of possible dimensions gathered from our patient-specific multi-plane US imaging data. The objective of this work is to reveal the necessity of calculating LVEFs based on volumes by showing that LVEF estimated using area changes underestimate the LVEF computed using volume changes. Additionally, we present a method to reconstruct the LV volume from 2D blood pool representations identified in the multi-plane 2D US images and use the reconstructed 3D volume throughout the cardiac cycle to estimate the LVEF. Our preliminary results show that the area-based LVEF significantly underestimates the true volume-based LVEF across both the theoretical simulations using idealized geometric models of the LV shape, as well as the patient-specific US imaging data. Specifically, both the TPS and paraboloid model showed an area-based LVEF of 41:3±4:7% and a volume-based LVEF of 55:4±5:7%, while the US image data showed an area-based LVEF of 34:7 ± 11:9% and a volume-based LVEF of 48:0 ± 14:0%. In summary, the area-based LVEF estimations using both the idealized TPS and paraboloid models was 14.1% lower than volume- based LVEF calculations using corresponding models. Furthermore, the area-based LVEF based on reconstructed LV volumes are 13.3% lower than volume-based estimates. Evidently, there is a need to further investigate a method to enable practical volume-based LVEF calculations to avoid the need for clinicians to estimate LVEF based on visual, holistic assessment of the blood pool area changes that improperly infer volumetric blood pool changes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10955, Medical Imaging 2019: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 109550T (15 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2514388
Show Author Affiliations
Dawei Liu, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Isabelle Peck, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Shusil Dangi, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Karl Q. Schwarz, Univ. of Rochester Medical Ctr. (United States)
Cristian A. Linte, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10955:
Medical Imaging 2019: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography
Brett C. Byram; Nicole V. Ruiter, Editor(s)

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