Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS


HEART4FLOW Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 310612
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Paese: Sweden

Mid-Term Report Summary - HEART4FLOW (Improved Diagnosis and Management of Heart Disease by 4D Blood Flow Assessment)

The primary purpose of the cardiovascular system is to drive, control and maintain blood flow to all parts of the body. Despite the primacy of flow, cardiac diagnostics still rely almost exclusively on tools focused on morphological assessment.

The objective of the HEART4FLOW project is to develop the next generation of methods for the non-invasive quantitative assessment of cardiac diseases and therapies by focusing on blood flow dynamics, with the goals of earlier and more accurate detection and improved management of cardiac diseases.

Using 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the time-resolved, three-dimensional (time + 3D = 4D) blood flow velocity and turbulence intensity can be measured in the heart. In the HEART4FLOW project, this technique is extended and exploited for assessment of intracardiac blood flow dynamics. In the first 30 months of the project, the research team is composed, the infrastructure set up, and the group has reached its first results.

A retrospectively ecg-gated spiral 4D flow MRI sequence has been developed and evaluated. This spiral 4D flow MRI sequence showed to be more than three times faster and less sensitive to artifacts in jet flow when compared with a conventional Cartesian sequence, facilitating 4D flow MRI of valve diseases.

Simultaneously, a variety of quantitative approaches for the assessment of severity of valve stenosis using 4D flow MRI have been evaluated using numerical simulation of 4D flow MRI acquisitions. The results show that none of the previously published approaches allows for robust and accurate estimation of irreversible pressure drop over the cardiac cycle in stenoses ranging from mild to severe. In collaboration with researchers at UCSF, San Francisco, a new approach has been developed. Preliminary results indicate that this approach might allow for accurate estimation of the irreversible pressure drop over a stenosis. Unfortunately, this approach requires measurement of the extra information. In the continuation of this project, we aim to evaluate this new approach, and develop acquisition methods for efficient acquisition of all required data.

Simultaneously, we have started the development of user-friendly quantitative assessment techniques for assessment of intracardiac blood flow energetics. We have developed a fully automatic technique for segmentation and analysis of 4D flow MRI data in the large vessels. This is a major step towards usage of the technique in large clinical trails and clinical applications. Extension of this technique to the heart is the next step.

As soon as the acquisition approach is finished, patient studies will be started, aiming for improved understanding of the roles of flow dynamics in both health and disease. This is expected to lead to improved cardiac diagnostics, novel assessments of pharmaceutical, interventional, and surgical therapies, and promoting exploration of new avenues for management of cardiac disorders.

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