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New physical standards and data analysis tools for tissue blood flow in the heart
Completed EMPIR project Metrology for multi-modality imaging of impaired tissue perfusion (15HLT05, PerfusImaging) has developed physical standards and data analysis tools to assess the reliability of different imaging techniques for the measurement of blood flow in heart tissue (perfusion), thereby validating their potential use for the quantitative diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.
Some of the outputs from this EMPIR project include:
- A physical standard phantom prototype was developed. This is used for quantitative medical imaging and realistically mimics spatially varying perfusion in a patient. The results were published in the paper Pixel‐wise assessment of cardiovascular magnetic resonance first‐pass perfusion using a cardiac phantom mimicking transmural myocardial perfusion gradients in journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
- The phantom was launched as a commercial product on conference exhibition stands by project partner ZMT Zurich MedTech AG resulting in significant interest from academia and industry.
- The project consortium developed novel quantification techniques, which were validated on the new phantom and the results were published in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology Pixel-wise quantification of myocardial perfusion using spatial Tikhonov regularization and SIAM Journal of Imaging Sciences Large-Scale Bayesian Spatial-Temporal Regression with Application to Cardiac MR-Perfusion Imaging.The work was also presented at ISMRM 2019 in Montreal Canada, which brings together scientists, clinical experts and industry representatives.
- The project also addressed the quantification of radiation dose, which occurs in perfusion scans with X-ray computed tomography (CT). A mobile measurement setup together with a Monte-Carlo simulation tool was developed. This equipment can measure specific scanner properties in less than 2 minutes, which is important for the simulation to determine the personalised dose for a patient. This approach was presented at the IEC TC62 committee meetings for development of standards.
- In order to ensure that the project outputs address the clinical need, the consortium worked with clinical experts, industry representatives and patient advocacy groups. Furthermore, the project partners have linked with other international experts to write Clinical Quantitative Cardiac Imaging for the Assessment of Myocardial Ischaemia published in Nature Reviews Cardiology.
Research outputs from the project will be further taken up by new EMPIR Support for Impact Project ‘Software for evaluating PET cardiac perfusion imaging uncertainties for more accurate diagnosis‘ (19SIP04 TracPETperf) due to start in the summer of 2020.
This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
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