Fully automatic segmentation and objective assessment of atrial scars for longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation patients using late gadolinium-enhanced MRI

Yang, Guang and Zhuang, Xiahai and Khan, Habib and Haldar, Shouvik and Nyktari, Eva and Li, Lei and Wage, Ricardo and Ye, Xujiong and Slabaugh, Greg and Mohiaddin, Raad and Wong, Tom and Keegan, Jennifer and Firmin, David and UNSPECIFIED (2018) Fully automatic segmentation and objective assessment of atrial scars for longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation patients using late gadolinium-enhanced MRI. Medical Physics . ISSN 0094-2405

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Abstract

Purpose: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder and causes considerable morbidity and mortality, resulting in a large public health burden that is increasing as the population ages. It is associated with atrial fibrosis, the amount and distribution of which can be used to stratify patients and to guide subsequent electrophysiology ablation treatment. Atrial fibrosis may be assessed non-invasively using late gadolinium-enhanced (LGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) where scar tissue is visualised as a region of signal enhancement. However, manual segmentation of the heart chambers and of the atrial scar tissue is time-consuming and subject to inter-operator variability, particularly as image quality in AF is often poor. In this study, we propose a novel fully automatic pipeline to achieve accurate and objective segmentation of the heart (from MRI Roadmap data) and of scar tissue within the heart (from LGE MRI data) acquired in patients with AF.
Methods: Our fully automatic pipeline uniquely combines: (1) a multi-atlas based whole heart segmentation (MA-WHS) to determine the cardiac anatomy from an MRI Roadmap acquisition which is then mapped to LGE MRI, and (2) a super-pixel and supervised learning based approach to delineate the distribution and extent of atrial scarring in LGE MRI. We compared the accuracy of the automatic analysis to manual ground-truth segmentations in 37 patients with persistent long standing AF.
Results: Both our MA-WHS and atrial scarring segmentations showed accurate delineations of cardiac anatomy (mean Dice = 89%) and atrial scarring (mean Dice = 79%) respectively compared to the established ground truth from manual segmentation. In addition, compared to the ground truth, we obtained 88% segmentation accuracy, with 90% sensitivity and 79% specificity. Receiver operating characteristic analysis achieved an average area under the curve of 0.91.
Conclusion: Compared with previously studied methods with manual interventions, our innovative pipeline demonstrated comparable results, but was computed fully automatically. The proposed segmentation methods allow LGE MRI to be used as an objective assessment tool for localisation, visualisation and quantification of atrial scarring and to guide ablation treatment.

Keywords:Late Gadolinium-Enhanced MRI, Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Medical Image Segmentation, Whole Heart Segmentation, Atrial Fibrillation
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:31464
Deposited On:28 Mar 2018 11:27

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