News Column

Patent Issued for Cardiac Flow Quantification with Volumetric Imaging Data

April 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Cardiovascular Week -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventors Wang, Yang (Plainsboro, NJ); Georgescu, Bogdan (Plainsboro, NJ); Datta, Saurabh (Cupertino, CA); Comaniciu, Dorin (Princeton Junction, NJ), filed on June 2, 2011, was published online on April 15, 2014 (see also Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.).

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8696579, is Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. (Malvern, PA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present embodiments relate to quantification of cardiac flow based on three-dimensional (3D) or volumetric imaging.

"Valvular heart diseases are recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Accurate quantification of cardiac volume flow in patients aids in the evaluation of the progression of the disease and in the determination of clinical options. The quantification of the volume of flow may assist in the evaluation of patients with other cardiac dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

"Recent advances in real-time, 3D full volume echocardiography have enabled high frame rate acquisition of volumetric color flow images. However, accurate flow quantification remains a significant challenge for cardiologists.

"Doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive and cost-effective method for evaluation of intracardiac blood flow, for assessment of cardiac function, for estimation of shunt flows in congenital cardiac defects, and for assessment of regurgitation in the presence of valvular disease. With real-time, full volume echocardiography, it is now feasible to acquire transthoracic 3D color flow images (CFI) for every heartbeat (without stitching) such that both mitral valve and LVOT flow can be covered individually or together by the color Doppler region of interest.

"However, a fundamental limitation of color Doppler data, flow velocity aliasing, remains a problem. Aliasing can introduce significant errors in flow quantification directly using color Doppler data. Attempts to overcome the velocity ambiguity have relied on customized hardware or geometric assumptions based on the recognition that ultrasound data alone is insufficient when true velocity is several multiples of the Nyquist level."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "By way of introduction, the embodiments described below include methods, systems, and apparatuses for cardiac flow quantification from data for three-dimensional imaging. The cardiac flow is quantified through construction of a ventricular model for an imaging sequence having a plurality of frames. The ventricular model is representative of the data in both a spatial and temporal manner. The ventricular model includes one or more sampling planes configured to collect flow samples from the imaging data. The ventricular model may be used to improve flow quantification, including, for instance, as a correction for aliasing.

"In a first aspect, a method of quantifying cardiac volume flow for an imaging sequence includes receiving data representing three-dimensions and color Doppler flow data over a plurality of frames, constructing a ventricular model based on the data representing three-dimensions for the plurality of frames, the ventricular model including a sampling plane configured to measure the cardiac volume flow, computing volume flow samples based on the sampling plane and the color Doppler flow data, and correcting the volume flow samples for aliasing based on volumetric change in the ventricular model between successive frames of the plurality of frames.

"In a second aspect, a system for quantifying cardiac volume flow for an imaging sequence includes an image acquisition system configured to capture data representing three dimensions and color Doppler flow data over a plurality of frames, and a processor in communication with the image acquisition system to receive the data representing three dimensions and the color Doppler flow data. The processor is configured to construct a ventricular model based on the data representing three dimensions, the ventricular model being configured to track motion of a ventricular boundary between successive frames of the plurality of frames, define a sampling plane based on the ventricular model for a first frame of the plurality of frames, the sampling plane being configured to measure the cardiac volume flow, adjust the sampling plane for a second frame of the plurality of frames based on the motion tracked by the ventricular model, and sample the color Doppler flow data for the second frame via the adjusted sampling plane.

"In a third aspect, an ultrasound apparatus for quantifying cardiac volume flow for an imaging sequence includes an ultrasound beamformer configured to generate respective scan signals for a plurality of frames, a B-mode detector in communication with the ultrasound beamformer and configured to generate three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound image data from the scan signals, a flow estimator in communication with the ultrasound beamformer and configured to generate flow data from the scan signals, and a processor in communication with the B-mode detector and the flow estimator to receive the 3D ultrasound image data and the flow data. The processor is configured to construct a ventricular model based on the 3D ultrasound image data, the ventricular model being configured to track motion of a ventricular boundary between successive frames of the plurality of frames, define a sampling plane based on the ventricular model for a first frame of the plurality of frames, the sampling plane being configured to measure the cardiac volume flow, adjust the sampling plane for a second frame of the plurality of frames based on the motion tracked by the ventricular model, compute the cardiac volume flow for the second frame based on the adjusted sampling plane and the color Doppler flow data, and correct the computed cardiac volume flow for aliasing based on volumetric change in the ventricular model between the first and second frames of the plurality of frames.

"The present invention is defined by the following claims, and nothing in this section should be taken as a limitation on those claims. Further aspects and advantages of the invention are discussed below in conjunction with the preferred embodiments and may be later claimed independently or in combination."

For more information, see this patent: Wang, Yang; Georgescu, Bogdan; Datta, Saurabh; Comaniciu, Dorin. Cardiac Flow Quantification with Volumetric Imaging Data. U.S. Patent Number 8696579, filed June 2, 2011, and published online on April 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=103&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=5137&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140415.PD.&OS=ISD/20140415&RS=ISD/20140415

Keywords for this news article include: Cardiology, Hemodynamics, Cardiac Volume, Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc.

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Source: Cardiovascular Week