Infoscience

Journal article

Myocardial Motion Analysis and Visualization from Echocardiograms

We present a new framework to estimate and visualize heart motion from echocardiograms. For velocity estimation, we have developed a novel multiresolution optical flow algorithm. In order to account for typical heart motions like contraction/expansion and shear, we use a local affine model for the velocity in space and time. The motion parameters are estimated in the least-squares sense inside a sliding spatio-temporal window. The estimated velocity field is used to track a region of interest which is represented by spline curves. In each frame, a set of sample points on the curves is displaced according to the estimated motion field. The contour in the subsequent frame is obtained by a least-squares spline fit to the displaced sample points. This ensures robustness of the contour tracking. From the estimated velocity, we compute a radial velocity field with respect to a reference point. Inside the time-varying region of interest, the radial velocity is color-coded and superimposed on the original image sequence in a semi-transparent fashion. In contrast to conventional Tissue Doppler methods, this approach is independent of the incident angle of the ultrasound beam. The motion analysis and visualization provides an objective and robust method for the detection and quantification of myocardial malfunctioning. Promising results are obtained from synthetic and clinical echocardiographic sequences.

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