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MRI simulation of blood flow helps plan child's delicate heart surgery
Date:8/14/2009

ning consisted of five major steps: acquiring magnetic resonance images of the child's heart at different times in the cardiac cycle, modeling the preoperative heart anatomy and blood flow, performing virtual surgeries, using computational fluid dynamics to model the proposed postoperative flow, and measuring the distribution of liver-derived hormonal factors and other clinically relevant parameters as feedback to the surgeon.

Fogel collected three different types of magnetic resonance images, and Yoganathan, along with graduate students Kartik Sundareswaran and Diane de Zlicourt, generated a three-dimensional model of the child's cardiovascular anatomy. From the model they reconstructed the three-dimensional pre-operative flow fields to understand the underlying causes of the malformations.

For this particular patient, the team saw a highly uneven flow distribution the left lung was receiving about 70 percent of the blood pumped out by the heart, but only five percent of the hepatic blood. Both observations suggested left lung malformations, but closer examination of the flow structures in that particular patient revealed that the competition between different vessels at the center of the original Fontan connection effectively forced all hepatic factors into the right lung even though a vast majority of total cardiac output went to the left lung.

To facilitate the design of the surgical options that would correct this problem, Jarek Rossignac, Ph.D., a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing, developed Surgem, an interactive geometric modeling environment that allowed the surgeon to use both hands and natural gestures in three-dimensions to grab, pull, twist and bend a three-dimensional computer representation of the patient's anatomy. After analyzing the three-dimensional reconstruction of the failing cardiovascular geometry, the team considered three surgical options.

The research team then performed compu
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Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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