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Left ventricular geometry during unloading and the end-systolic pressure volume relationship: Measurement with a modified real-time MRI-based method in normal sheep.


The left ventricular (LV) end-systolic (ES) pressure volume relationship (ESPVR) is the cornerstone of systolic LV function analysis. We describe a 2D real-time (RT) MRI-based method (RTPVR) with separate software tools for 1) semi-automatic level set-based shape prior method (LSSPM) of the LV, 2) generation of synchronized pressure area loops and 3) calculation of the ESPVR. We used the RTPVR method to measure ventricular geometry, ES pressure area relationship (ESPAR) and ESPVR during vena cava occlusion (VCO) in normal sheep. 14 adult sheep were anesthetized and underwent measurement of LV systolic function. Ten of the 14 sheep underwent RTMRI and eight of the 14 underwent measurement with conductance catheter; 4 had both RTMRI and conductance measurements. 2D cross sectional RTMRI were performed at apex, mid-ventricle and base levels during separate VCOs. The Dice similarity coefficient was used to compare LSSPM and manual image segmentation and thus determine LSSPM accuracy. LV cross-sectional area, major and minor axis length, axis ratio, major axis orientation angle and ESPAR were measured at each LV level. ESPVR was calculated with a trapezoidal rule. The Dice similarity coefficient between LSSPM and manual segmentation by two readers was 87.31±2.51% and 88.13±3.43%. All cross sections became more elliptical during VCO. The major axis orientation shifted during VCO but remained in the septo-lateral direction. LV chamber obliteration at the apical level occurred during VCO in 7 of 10 sheep that underwent RTMRI. ESPAR was non-linear at all levels. Finally, ESPVR was non-linear because of apical collapse. ESPVR measured by conductance catheter (EES,Index = 2.23±0.66 mmHg/ml/m2) and RT (EES,Index = 2.31±0.31 mmHg/ml/m2) was not significantly different. LSSPM segmentation of 2D RT MRI images is accurate and allows calculation of LV geometry, ESPAR and ESPVR during VCO. In the future, RTPVR will facilitate determination of regional systolic material parameters underlying ESPVR.

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