Fully Automated Myocardial Strain Estimation from CMR Tagged Images using a Deep Learning Framework in the UK Biobank

04/15/2020 ∙ by Edward Ferdian, et al. ∙ 0

Purpose: To demonstrate the feasibility and performance of a fully automated deep learning framework to estimate myocardial strain from short-axis cardiac magnetic resonance tagged images. Methods and Materials: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, 4508 cases from the UK Biobank were split randomly into 3244 training and 812 validation cases, and 452 test cases. Ground truth myocardial landmarks were defined and tracked by manual initialization and correction of deformable image registration using previously validated software with five readers. The fully automatic framework consisted of 1) a convolutional neural network (CNN) for localization, and 2) a combination of a recurrent neural network (RNN) and a CNN to detect and track the myocardial landmarks through the image sequence for each slice. Radial and circumferential strain were then calculated from the motion of the landmarks and averaged on a slice basis. Results: Within the test set, myocardial end-systolic circumferential Green strain errors were -0.001 +/- 0.025, -0.001 +/- 0.021, and 0.004 +/- 0.035 in basal, mid, and apical slices respectively (mean +/- std. dev. of differences between predicted and manual strain). The framework reproduced significant reductions in circumferential strain in diabetics, hypertensives, and participants with previous heart attack. Typical processing time was  260 frames ( 13 slices) per second on an NVIDIA Tesla K40 with 12GB RAM, compared with 6-8 minutes per slice for the manual analysis. Conclusions: The fully automated RNNCNN framework for analysis of myocardial strain enabled unbiased strain evaluation in a high-throughput workflow, with similar ability to distinguish impairment due to diabetes, hypertension, and previous heart attack.

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