Medical Imaging and Computer-Aided Flow Analysis of a Heart With Atrial Septal Deffect
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Computer-aided magnetic resonance (MR) fluid motion tracking and cardiac vorticity quantification of the right atrial flow is implemented in this study to suggest a new method for the diagnosis of an atrial septal defect (ASD). MR signals of blood moving in a cardiac chamber can be represented as an image and vary in intensity at every consecutive cardiac phase. A method was devised to perform flow analysis using MR imaging without modification of scan mode or protocol that allows velocity encoding. A single vortex or multiple vortices may appear in the cardiac chamber. However, velocity fields in any flow scenario are normally unable to reveal information for a concise analysis; therefore, in addition to velocity maps, vorticity flow maps on which the velocity field is superimposed are presented. Through a case study, the difference in vortex strengths pre- and post-atrial septal occlusion can be examined, and the results can be verified using computational fluid dynamics. Based on this framework, the degree of vortical flow was assessed for the right atrium of a subject with atrial septal defect. A relationship can be established between right atrial vorticity and the ASD. As such, there is clear utility of the developed system in its potential as a prognostic and investigative tool for the quantitative assessment of cardiac abnormalities parallel to examining magnetic resonance images.
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