- Poster presentation
- Open Access
Simulating MR imaging for the human embryonic heart
© Kantasis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015
- Published: 3 February 2015
- Graphic Processing Unit
- Anatomical Model
- Embryonic Heart
- Gradient Echo
- Isotropic Voxel Size
MRI has evolved to become a safe diagnostic imaging tool for prenatal care. Recent studies have demonstrated its applications in early diagnosis of congenital heart anomalies (Loomba et al. 2011). However, in vivo embryonic MRI presents obstacles associated with small sample size, RF field profile distortion, RF exposure limits, motion etc. Therefore, small structures such as the heart are difficult to image.
In clinical practice during the first trimester, MRI scans are reserved only for severe cases and research protocols are not easily approved. Optimization of pulse sequences is not a trivial issue and exploring the entire parameter space is impractical. For this reason simulations of MRI pulse sequences and imaging protocols can be utilized on embryonic and fetal anatomical models. In this study, a simulation framework is presented that allows MR analysis of the embryonic heart in order to investigate the limitations of image resolution and quality.
A detailed anatomical model was developed, based on the Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo dataset (Smith et al. 1999). The dataset consisted of 38 transverse slices with Diffusion, T1 weighted and T2 weighted images, acquired at 9.4T. The dataset consisted of a 23rd Carnegie stage (approximately 56 days) fixed embryo, with a total of 38 slices and an isotropic voxel size of 156.3μm3. A semi-automatic segmentation algorithm was applied to obtain the tissue masks and a 3D model of the human embryo was developed.
In this study we presented a simulation framework which can allow for fetal and embryonic MRI to overcome its obstacles through the design of appropriate pulse sequences and protocols.
Funding provided by the Greek Excellence Program (ARISTEIA I).
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