By Queir\'os, S.; Vila?a, J.L.; Morais, P.; Fonseca, J.C.; D'hooge, J&perio
International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
In daily clinical cardiology practice, left ventricle (LV) global and regional function assessment is crucial for disease diagnosis, therapy selection, and patient follow-up. Currently, this is still a time-consuming task, spending valuable human resources. In this work, a novel fast methodology for automatic LV tracking is proposed based on localized anatomically constrained affine optical flow. This novel method can be combined to previously proposed segmentation frameworks or manually delineated surfaces at an initial frame to obtain fully delineated datasets and, thus, assess both global and regional myocardial function. Its feasibility and accuracy were investigated in 3 distinct public databases, namely in realistically simulated 3D ultrasound, clinical 3D echocardiography, and clinical cine cardiac magnetic resonance images. The method showed accurate tracking results in all databases, proving its applicability and accuracy for myocardial function assessment. Moreover, when combined to previous state-of-the-art segmentation frameworks, it outperformed previous tracking strategies in both 3D ultrasound and cardiac magnetic resonance data, automatically computing relevant cardiac indices with smaller biases and narrower limits of agreement compared to reference indices. Simultaneously, the proposed localized tracking method showed to be suitable for online processing, even for 3D motion assessment. Importantly, although here evaluated for LV tracking only, this novel methodology is applicable for tracking of other target structures with minimal adaptations.