Optimal contrast-enhanced MRI image thresholding for accurate prediction of ventricular tachycardia using ex-vivo high resolution models

Dongdong Denga, Plamen Nikolova, Hermenegild J. Arevaloa, Natalia A. Trayanovaa

Computers in Biology and Medicine 102. (30 September 2018): 426-432.

ABSTRACT
Patient specific models created from contrast-enhanced (i.e. late-gadolinium, LGE) MRI images can be used for prediction of reentry location and clinical ablation planning. However, there is still a need for direct and systematic comparison between characteristics of ventricular tachycardia (VT) morphologies predicted in computational models and those acquired in clinical or experimental protocols. In this study, we aimed to: 1) assess the differences in VT morphologies predicted by modeling and recorded in experiments in terms of patterns and location of reentries, earliest and latest activation sites, and cycle lengths; and 2) define the optimal range of infarct tissue threshold values which provide best match between simulation and experimental results. To achieve these goals, we utilized LGE-MRI images from 4 swine hearts with inducible monomorphic VT. The images were segmented to identify non-infarcted myocardium, semi viable gray zone (GZ), and core scar based on pixel intensity. Several models were reconstructed from each LGE-MRI scan, with voxels of intensity between that of non-infarcted myocardium and 20–50% of the maximum intensity (in 10% increments) in the infarct region classified as GZ. VT induction was simulated in each model. Our simulation results showed that using GZ intensity thresholds of 20% or 30% resulted in the best match of simulated propagation patterns and reentry locations with those from the experiment. Overall, we matched 70% (7/10) morphologies for all the hearts. Our simulation shows that MRI-based computational models of hearts with myocardial infarction can accurately reproduce the majority of experimentally recorded post-infarction VTs.