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J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2019 Oct;6(4):046002. doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.6.4.046002. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Regional dynamics of fractal dimension of the left ventricular endocardium from cine computed tomography images.

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University of California San Diego, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, La Jolla, California, United States.
University of California San Diego, Department of Bioengineering, La Jolla, California, United States.
University of California San Diego, Department of Radiology, La Jolla, California, United States.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, Bethesda, Maryland, United States.
University of California San Diego, Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, La Jolla, California, United States.


We present a method to leverage the high fidelity of computed tomography (CT) to quantify regional left ventricular function using topography variation of the endocardium as a surrogate measure of strain. 4DCT images of 10 normal and 10 abnormal subjects, acquired with standard clinical protocols, are used. The topography of the endocardium is characterized by its regional values of fractal dimension ( F D ), computed using a box-counting algorithm developed in-house. The average F D in each of the 16 American Heart Association segments is calculated for each subject as a function of time over the cardiac cycle. The normal subjects show a peak systolic percentage change in F D of 5.9 % ± 2 % in all free-wall segments, whereas the abnormal cohort experiences a change of 2 % ± 1.2 % ( p < 0.00001 ). Septal segments, being smooth, do not undergo large changes in F D . Additionally, a principal component analysis is performed on the temporal profiles of F D to highlight the possibility for unsupervised classification of normal and abnormal function. The method developed is free from manual contouring and does not require any feature tracking or registration algorithms. The F D values in the free-wall segments correlated well with radial strain and with endocardial regional shortening measurements.


cardiac imaging; fractal dimension; regional cardiac function; x-ray computed tomography

[Available on 2020-11-08]

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