Incorporation of a left ventricle finite element model defining infarction into the XCAT imaging phantom

Alexander I. Veress, W. Paul Segars, Benjamin M.W. Tsui, Grant T. Gullberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 4D extended cardiac-torso (XCAT) phantom was developed to provide a realistic and flexible model of the human anatomy and cardiac and respiratory motions for use in medical imaging research. A prior limitation to the phantom was that it did not accurately simulate altered functions of the heart that result from cardiac pathologies such as coronary artery disease (CAD). We overcame this limitation in a previous study by combining the phantom with a finite-element (FE) mechanical model of the left ventricle (LV) capable of more realistically simulating regional defects caused by ischemia. In the present work, we extend this model giving it the ability to accurately simulate motion abnormalities caused by myocardial infarction (MI), a far more complex situation in terms of altered mechanics compared with the modeling of acute ischemia. The FE model geometry is based on high resolution CT images of a normal male subject. An anterior region was defined as infarcted and the material properties and fiber distribution were altered, according to the bio-physiological properties of two types of infarction, i.e., fibrous and remodeled infarction (30% thinner wall than fibrous case). Compared with the original, surface-based 4D beating heart model of the XCAT, where regional abnormalities are modeled by simply scaling down the motion in those regions, the FE model was found to provide a more accurate representation of the abnormal motion of the LV due to the effects of fibrous infarction as well as depicting the motion of remodeled infarction. In particular, the FE models allow for the accurate depiction of dyskinetic motion. The average circumferential strain results were found to be consistent with measured dyskinetic experimental results. Combined with the 4D XCAT phantom, the FE model can be used to produce realistic multimodality sets of imaging data from a variety of patients in which the normal or abnormal cardiac function is accurately represented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5610727
Pages (from-to)915-927
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Cardiac imaging research
  • NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT)
  • extended cardiac-torso (XCAT)
  • finite element
  • ischemia
  • left ventricle
  • mechanical model
  • myocardial infarction
  • single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) phantom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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