Past REU Participants & Project Pages

2006 REU Porjects
2006 REU Projects
2006 Participant: Heather Hunter
Project Title: Creation of a Graphical User Interface for Cardiac Image Analysis

Faculty Advisor:Dr. Scott Acton
Introduction:
The American Heart Association (AHA) states that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, affecting about 61 million Americans and claiming about 900,000 lives each year. In periods of low blood flow, such as infarction, a region of the myocardium typically suffers a reduction in contractibility; the result is irregular motion during a cardiac cycle. This type of response is localized; only a small region of the heart may experience reduced functionality. Measuring this motion relies on being able to place “markers” on the heart through systole (contraction), preferably non-invasibly. To overcome this limitation and permit non-invasive “marking,” MR tagging was introduced in the 1980s. Myocardial tagging is one of the most widely used approaches to the measuring regional intra-myocardial function, and several programs have been created to perform such measurements. This project sought to produce a graphical user interface (GUI) similar to previous software, to promote improvement in such software.

Conclusion:
  • FindTags requires manual intervention
    • increases processing time of data
    • increases amount of human subjectivity
    • decreases applicability of MRI
  • Noise during image acquisition can cause error in the automatic edge detection methods used to track the tags.
    • FindTags allows editing of lines, but this, combined with the labor-intensive intervention required for segmentation, is time-consuming
  • Features being detected must be distinct
    • interpolation is always required for motion estimation – increases time for data processing
  • Problems with all tagging methods
    • low spatial resolution (around 5 pixels)
    • spatial registration errors, which cause estimates of strain and other strain components to lack accuracy
screenshot of GUI main window
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