Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Peters, Terry M.


Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) describes a variety of pathologies that result in regurgitation of blood during the systolic phase of the cardiac cycle. Decisions in valvular disease management rely heavily on non-invasive imaging. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is widely recognized as the key evaluation technique where backflow of high velocity blood can be visualized under Doppler. In most cases, TEE imaging is adequate for identifying mitral valve pathology, though the modality is often limited from signal dropout, artifacts and a restricted field of view. Quantitative analysis is an integral part of the overall assessment of valve morphology and gives objective evidence for both classification and guiding intervention of regurgitation. In addition, patient-specific models derived from diagnostic TEE images allow clinicians to gain insight into uniquely intricate anatomy prior to surgery. However, the heavy reliance on TEE segmentation for diagnosis and modelling has necessitated an evaluation of the accuracy of the oft-used mitral valve imaging modality.

Dynamic cardiac 4D-Computed Tomography (4D-CT) is emerging as a valuable tool for diagnosis, quantification and assessment of cardiac diseases. This modality has the potential to provide a high quality rendering of the mitral valve and subvalvular apparatus, to provide a more complete picture of the underlying morphology. However, application of dynamic CT to mitral valve imaging is especially challenging due to the large and rapid motion of the valve leaflets. It is therefore necessary to investigate the accuracy and level of precision by which dynamic CT captures mitral valve motion throughout the cardiac cycle. To do this, we design and construct a silicone and bovine quasi-static mitral valve phantom which can simulate a range of ECG-gated heart rates and reproduce physiologic valve motion over the cardiac cycle. In this study, we discovered that the dynamic CT accurately captures the underlying valve movement, but with a higher prevalence of image artifacts as leaflet and chordae motion increases due to elevated heart rates.

In a subsequent study, we acquire simultaneous CT and TEE images of both a silicone mitral valve phantom and an iodine-stained bovine mitral valve. We propose a pipeline to use CT as the ground truth to study the relationship between TEE intensities and the underlying valve morphology. Preliminary results demonstrate that with an optimized threshold selection based solely on TEE pixel intensities, only 40\% of pixels are correctly classified as part of the valve. In addition, we have shown that emphasizing the centre-line rather than the boundaries of high intensity TEE image regions provides a better representation and segmentation of the valve morphology. This work has the potential to inform and augment the use of TEE for diagnosis and modelling of the mitral valve in the clinical workflow for MVD.