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Cardiovascular Imaging & Modelling

Imaging is a key component in assessment, treatment and follow-up of cardiovascular diseases. Our aim is to use cardiovascular images (echocardiography, cardiac MRI, hostology slices) to improve our understanding of healthy cardiac function and their alterations in different pathologies and different patients, and eventually to help in the development of patient-specific treatment. We are particularly focused on the study of the analysis of microstructure (myocyte orientations and their arrangement into sheets), from how to measure it (histology, in vitro and in vivo Diffusion MRI) to its effects on electrical and mechanical cardiac activity.

In order to link image values to functional measurements, we use an integrative approach including image analysis and computational modelling. A typical pipeline is depicted below:


Cardiovascular Modelling


Specific developments include:

- Automated analysis (segmentation, registration) of in vivo and in vitro cardiac images

- Specific methods for the quantification of cardiac Diffusion MRI scans

- Generation of volume meshes from images

- Study, using cardiac models, of the effect on electrical and mechanical effects of normal myocardial structure and their disruption in pathologies such as myocardial infarction and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

This is done in collaboration with the teams of Prof. Peter Kohl at the National Lung and Heart Institute, Dr. Jurgen Schneider at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, and Dr. Erica Dall'Armellina at the Oxford Acute Vascular Imaging Centre (AVIC).


Representative Publications (see also laboratory full publication list):

Valentina Carapella, Rafel Bordas, Pras Pathmanathan, Jurgen Schneider, Peter Kohl, Kevin Burrage, and Vicente Grau. Effect of fibre orientation optimisation in an electromechanical model of left ventricular contraction in rat. Functional Imaging and Modelling of the Heart 2013, 46-53

Maesen B, Zeemering S, Afonso C, Eckstein J, Burton, RAB, van Hunnik, A, Stuckey, DJ, Tyler D, Maessen J, Grau V, Verheule G, Kohl P, Schotten U, Rearrangement of Atrial Bundle Architecture and Consequent Changes in Anisotropy of Conduction Constitute the 3-Dimensional Substrate for Atrial Fibrillation, Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, accepted for publication, 2013

Goyal A, Lee J, Lamata P, van den Wijngaard J, van Horssen P, Spaan J, Siebes M, Grau V, Smith N Model-based Vasculature Extraction from Optical Fluorescence Cryomicrotome Images, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 2013 32(1):56-72

Bordas R, Gillow K, Lou Q, Efimov IR, Gavaghan D, Kohl P, Grau V, Rodriguez B. Full rabbit-specific ventricular model of cardiac electrophysiological function including specialized conduction system. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 2011/107:90-100

Bishop MJ,Plank G, Burton RA, Schneider JE, Gavaghan DJ, Grau V & Kohl P. Development of an anatomically-detailed MRI-derived rabbit ventricular model and assessment of its impact on simulation of electrophysiological function. American Journal of Physiology 2010/298:H699-H718.

Plank, G., Burton, R.A.B., Hales, P., Bishop, M., Mansoori, T., Bernabeu, M., Garny, A., Prassl, A.J., Bollensdorff, C., Mason, F., Mahmood, F., Rodriguez, B., Grau, V., Schneider, J., Gavaghan, D., Kohl, P., Generation of histo-anatomically representative models of the individual heart: tools and application, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, June 13, 2009 367: 2257-2292

Grau, V., Becher, H., Noble, J.A., Registration of multi-view three dimensional echocardiographic sequences, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, v. 26-9, pp. 1154-1165, September 2007.