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Assessing the performance of ultrafast vector flow imaging in the neonatal heart via multiphysics modeling and In vitro experiments

  • Van Cauwenberge, Joris
  • Lovstakken, Lasse
  • Fadnes, Solveig
  • Rodriguez-Morales, Alfonso
  • Vierendeels, Jan
  • Segers, Patrick
  • Swillens, Abigaïl
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
DOI: 10.1109/TUFFC.2016.2596804
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Ultrafast vector flow imaging would benefit newborn patients with congenital heart disorders, but still requires thorough validation before translation to clinical practice. This paper investigates 2-D speckle tracking (ST) of intraventricular blood flow in neonates when transmitting diverging waves at ultrafast frame rate. Computational and in vitro studies enabled us to quantify the performance and identify artifacts related to the flow and the imaging sequence. First, synthetic ultrasound images of a neonate's left ventricular flow pattern were obtained with the ultrasound simulator Field II by propagating point scatterers according to 3-D intraventricular flow fields obtained with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Noncompounded diverging waves (opening angle of 60 degrees) were transmitted at a pulse repetition frequency of 9 kHz. ST of the B-mode data provided 2-D flow estimates at 180 Hz, which were compared with the CFD flow field. We demonstrated that the diastolic inflow jet showed a strong bias in the lateral velocity estimates at the edges of the jet, as confirmed by additional in vitro tests on a jet flow phantom. Furthermore, ST performance was highly dependent on the cardiac phase with low flows (< 5 cm/s), high spatial flow gradients, and out-of-plane flow as deteriorating factors. Despite the observed artifacts, a good overall performance of 2-D ST was obtained with a median magnitude underestimation and angular deviation of, respectively, 28% and 13.5 degrees during systole and 16% and 10.5 degrees during diastole.

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