ICM researchers use new imaging and analytical methods to model the structure of the failing heart


As described in an article published in the January 5th issue of Circulation Research (Helm et. al. 2006. Evidence of structural remodeling in the dyssynchronous failing heart. 98: 125), researchers at the Institute for Computational Medicine and the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute performed diffusion tensor MRI in isolated perfusion-fixed dog hearts to estimate the distributions of ventricular myofiber and sheet orientations at sub-millimeter resolution. The resulting large data sets were compared statistically between normal and dysynchronous failing groups using novel techniques from computational anatomy. These studies, let by BME PhD Program student Patrick Helm, showed that early-activated myocardial sites exhibit significant reorientation of myocardial sheets whereas there was no change in late-activated sites. This remodeling is likely to have significant effects on regional wall mechanics and electrical conduction. This issue of Circulation Research includes cover illustrations from Dr. Helms work and an editorial comment on this work written by Drs. Andrew McCulloch and Jeffrey Omens of UCSD (Myocyte shearing, myocardial sheet and microtubules. 2006. 98:1)

JHU - Institute for Computational Medicine