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Automatic slice-alignment method in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of the right ventricle in patients with pulmonary hypertension
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We propose a new automatic slice-alignment method, which enables right ventricular scan planning in addition to the left ventricular scan planning developed in our previous work, to simplify right ventricular cardiac scan planning and assess its accuracy and the clinical acceptability of the acquired imaging planes in the evaluation of patients with pulmonary hypertension. Steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences covering the whole heart in the end-diastolic phase with ECG gating were used to acquire 2D axial multislice images. To realize right ventricular scan planning, two morphological feature points are added to be detected and a total of eight morphological features of the heart were extracted from these series of images, and six left ventricular planes and four right ventricular planes were calculated simultaneously based on the extracted features. The subjects were 33 patients (25 with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and 8 with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension). The four right ventricular reference planes including right ventricular short-axis, 4-chamber, 2-chamber, and 3-chamber images were evaluated. The acceptability of the acquired imaging planes was visually evaluated using a 4-point scale, and the angular differences between the results obtained by this method and by conventional manual annotation were measured for each view. The average visual scores were 3.9±0.4 for short-axis images, 3.8±0.4 for 4-chamber images, 3.8±0.4 for 2-chamber images, and 3.5±0.6 for 3-chamber images. The average angular differences were 8.7±5.3, 8.3±4.9, 8.1±4.8, and 7.9±5.3 degrees, respectively. The processing time was less than 2.5 seconds in all subjects. The proposed method, which enables right ventricular scan planning in addition to the left ventricular scan planning developed in our previous work, can provide clinically acceptable planes in a short time and is useful because special proficiency in performing cardiac
MR for patients with right ventricles of various sizes and shapes is not required.
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