Visualization: Lagrangian Analysis of Intracardiac Blood Flow using 4D Flow MRI

Cardiovascular disease is a serious health threat in developed countries, and remains the number one cause of death. Improved diagnostic procedures will better identify the most suitable and cost-effective therapeutic approaches, improving outcomes and helping to control costs.

The primary purpose of the cardiovascular system is to drive, control and maintain blood flow to all parts of the body. Despite this, our assessment of cardiovascular diseases and therapeutic interventions does not focus on the important hemodynamic factors, but relies almost exclusively on function estimation based on morphology. Suitable tools for direct flow assessment are needed, as well as a better understanding of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Using 4D flow MRI, the three-directional velocity field can be measured in a three-dimensional volume encompassing the whole human heart over the complete cardiac cycle. Visualization and analysis of these large time-resolved vector dataset is, however, time-consuming and user-dependent. This hampers large patient studies and clinical usage.
In this project, we aim to develop and utilize a lagrangian analysis approach of intracardiac blood flow in the heart that integrates flow and morphological data. The approach will be evaluated in healthy volunteers and patients, thus increasing the knowledge of intra cardiac blood flow, how the properties are changed in different pathological states and how these changes further adverse the remodeling of the heart.