The assessment of craniofacial deformities requires patient data which is sparsely available. Statistical shape models provide realistic and synthetic data enabling comparisons of existing methods on a common dataset. We build the first publicly available statistical 3D head model of craniosynostosis patients and the first model focusing on infants younger than 1.5 years. For correspondence establishment, we test and evaluate four template morphing approaches. We further present an original, shape-model- based classification approach for craniosynostosis on photogrammetric surface scans. To the best of our knowledge, our study uses the largest dataset of craniosynostosis patients in a classification study for craniosynostosis and statistical shape modeling to date. We demonstrate that our shape model performs similar to other statistical shape models of the human head. Craniosynostosis-specific pathologies are represented in the first eigenmodes of the model. Regarding the automatic classification of craniosynostis, our classification approach yields an accuracy of 97.3 %, comparable to other state-of-the-art methods using both computed tomography scans and stereophotogrammetry. Our publicly available, craniosynostosis-specific statistical shape model enables the assessment of craniosynostosis on realistic and synthetic data. We further present a state-of-the-art shape-model- based classification approach for a radiation-free diagnosis of craniosynostosis.
This contribution is part of a project concerning the creation of an artificial dataset comprising 3D head scans of craniosynostosis patients for a deep-learning-based classification. To conform to real data, both head and neck are required in the 3D scans. However, during patient recording, the neck is often covered by medical staff. Simply pasting an arbitrary neck leaves large gaps in the 3D mesh. We therefore use a publicly available statistical shape model (SSM) for neck reconstruction. However, most SSMs of the head are constructed using healthy subjects, so the full head reconstruction loses the craniosynostosis-specific head shape. We propose a method to recover the neck while keeping the pathological head shape intact. We propose a Laplace- Beltrami-based refinement step to deform the posterior mean shape of the full head model towards the pathological head. The artificial neck is created using the publicly available Liverpool-Y ork-Model. W e apply our method to construct artificial necks for head scans of 50 scaphocephaly patients. Our method reduces mean vertex correspondence error by approximately 1.3 mm compared to the ordinary posterior mean shape, preserves the pathological head shape, and creates a continuous transition between neck and head. The presented method showed good results for reconstructing a plausible neck to craniosynostosis patients. Easily generalized it might also be applicable to other pathological shapes.
Objective: To investigate cardiac activation maps estimated using electrocardiographic imaging and to find methods reducing line-of-block (LoB) artifacts, while preserving real LoBs. Methods: Body surface potentials were computed for 137 simulated ventricular excitations. Subsequently, the inverse problem was solved to obtain extracellular potentials (EP) and transmembrane voltages (TMV). From these, activation times (AT) were estimated using four methods and compared to the ground truth. This process was evaluated with two cardiac mesh resolutions. Factors contributing to LoB artifacts were identified by analyzing the impact of spatial and temporal smoothing on the morphology of source signals. Results: AT estimation using a spatiotemporal derivative performed better than using a temporal derivative. Compared to deflection-based AT estimation, correlation-based methods were less prone to LoB artifacts but performed worse in identifying real LoBs. Temporal smoothing could eliminate artifacts for TMVs but not for EPs, which could be linked to their temporal morphology. TMVs led to more accurate ATs on the septum than EPs. Mesh resolution had a negligible effect on inverse reconstructions, but small distances were important for cross-correlation-based estimation of AT delays. Conclusion: LoB artifacts are mainly caused by the inherent spatial smoothing effect of the inverse reconstruction. Among the configurations evaluated, only deflection-based AT estimation in combination with TMVs and strong temporal smoothing can prevent LoB artifacts, while preserving real LoBs. Significance: Regions of slow conduction are of considerable clinical interest and LoB artifacts observed in non-invasive ATs can lead to misinterpretations. We addressed this problem by identifying factors causing such artifacts and methods to reduce them.
C. Nagel, M. Schaufelberger, O. Dössel, and A. Loewe. A Bi-atrial Statistical Shape Model as a Basis to Classify Left Atrial Enlargement from Simulated and Clinical 12-Lead ECGs. In Statistical Atlases and Computational Models of the Heart. Multi-Disease, Multi-View, and Multi-Center Right Ventricular Segmentation in Cardiac MRI Challenge, vol. 13131, pp. 38-47, 2022
Left atrial enlargement (LAE) is one of the risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF). A non-invasive and automated detection of LAE with the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) could therefore contribute to an improved AF risk stratification and an early detection of new-onset AF incidents. However, one major challenge when applying machine learning techniques to identify and classify cardiac diseases usually lies in the lack of large, reliably labeled and balanced clinical datasets. We therefore examined if the extension of clinical training data by simulated ECGs derived from a novel bi-atrial shape model could improve the automated detection of LAE based on P waves of the 12-lead ECG. We derived 95 volumetric geometries from the bi-atrial statistical shape model with continuously increasing left atrial volumes in the range of 30 ml to 65 ml. Electrophysiological simulations with 10 different conduction velocity settings and 2 different torso models were conducted. Extracting the P waves of the 12-lead ECG thus yielded a synthetic dataset of 1,900 signals. Besides the simulated data, 7,168 healthy and 309 LAE ECGs from a public clinical ECG database were available for training and testing of an LSTM network to identify LAE. The class imbalance of the training data could be reduced from 1:23 to 1:6 when adding simulated data to the training set. The accuracy evaluated on the test dataset comprising a subset of the clinical ECG recordings improved from 0.91 to 0.95 if simulated ECGs were included as an additional input for the training of the classifier. Our results suggest that using a bi-atrial statistical shape model as a basis for ECG simulations can help to overcome the drawbacks of clinical ECG recordings and can thus lead to an improved performance of machine learning classifiers to detect LAE based on the 12-lead ECG.
Cranio-maxillofacial surgery often alters the aesthetics of the face which can be a heavy burden for patients to decide whether or not to undergo surgery. Today, physicians can predict the post-operative face using surgery planning tools to support the patient’s decision-making. While these planning tools allow a simulation of the post-operative face, the facial texture must usually be captured by another 3D texture scan and subsequently mapped on the simulated face. This approach often results in face predictions that do not appear realistic or lively looking and are therefore ill-suited to guide the patient’s decision-making. Instead, we propose a method using a generative adversarial network to modify a facial image according to a 3D soft-tissue estimation of the post-operative face. To circumvent the lack of available data pairs between pre- and post-operative measurements we propose a semi-supervised training strategy using cycle losses that only requires paired open-source data of images and 3D surfaces of the face’s shape. After training on “in-the-wild” images we show that our model can realistically manipulate local regions of a face in a 2D image based on a modified 3D shape. We then test our model on four clinical examples where we predict the post-operative face according to a 3D soft-tissue prediction of surgery outcome, which was simulated by a surgery planning tool. As a result, we aim to demonstrate the potential of our approach to predict realistic post-operative images of faces without the need of paired clinical data, physical models, or 3D texture scans.
Activation times (AT) describe the sequence of cardiac depolarization and represent one of the most important parameters for analysis of cardiac electrical activity. However, estimation of ATs can be challenging due to multiple sources of noise such as fractionation or baseline wander. If ATs are estimated from signals reconstructed using electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI), additional problems can arise from over-smoothing or due to ambiguities in the inverse problem. Often, resulting AT maps show falsely homogeneous regions or artificial lines of block. As ATs are not only important clinically, but are also commonly used for evaluation of ECGI methods, it is important to understand where these errors come from. We present results from a community effort to compare methods for AT estimation on a common dataset of simulated ventricular pacings. ECGI reconstructions were performed using three different surface source models: transmembrane voltages, epi-endo potentials and pericardial potentials, all using 2nd-order Tikhonov and 6 different regularization parameters. ATs were then estimated by the community participants and compared to the ground truth. While the pacing site had the largest effect on AT correlation coefficients (CC larger for lateral than for septal pacings), there were also differences between methods and source models that were poorly reflected in CCs. Results indicate that artificial lines of block are most severe for purely temporal methods. Compared to the other source models, ATs estimated from transmembrane voltages are more precise and less prone to artifacts.
Student Theses (1)
M. Schaufelberger. Activation Times Estimation in ECG Imaging: Comparison of Source Models and Estimation Methods. Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Masterarbeit. 2019
Determination of activation times (ATs) using noninvasive electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) is a promising technique for future diagnosis in cardiology. However, recent studies showed artificial lines of block (ALBs) in AT maps, estimated from reconstructed source signals. Although a variety of different source models and estimation methods are used, few attempts have been made to compare these. For this reason, a systematic compari- son was performed using three different source models (surface transmembrane voltages (TMVs), extracellular potentials (EPs) on an epi-endocardial surface, and EPs on a pericar- dial surface). Four different estimation methods were compared (deflection-based temporal (DefB-T), deflection-based spatiotemporal (DefB-St), correlation-based temporal (CorrB-T), and correlation-based spatiotemporal (CorrB-St)). Four physiological cases with different pacings and 10 pathological cases with elongated scars and patches were taken into account. Monodomain simulations were performed and resulting body surface potentials (BSPs) were calculated and corrupted with an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) to obtain a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 20 dB. Reconstructions were performed using second-order Tikhonov regularization with 5 different degrees of smoothing and the L-curve-method to analyze the influence of the regularization. Subsequent AT estimation showed that TMVs performed better than EPs and showed fewer ALBs. Spatiotemporal approaches showed fewer ALBs than purely temporal ones. Deflection-based (DefB) methods could depict scars, but showed many ALBs. Correlation- based (CorrB) methods performed better than DefB methods and did not show ALBs for TMVs, but overblurred scars for pathological cases. A modification of the ￼method could be developed which resulted in the reproduction of scars without showing ALBs. In addition, it was shown that spatial oversmoothing in the reconstruction leads to character- istic ALBs and that this special kind of ALBs can be recreated by spatially smoothing true source signals. However, this does not explain all occurences of ALBs.