Tool development for resolving and visualizing irregular heartbeats measured by cardiac magnetic resonance

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common irregularity of heartbeats. it can cause significant symptoms and impair heart function and daily life. Its irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm can lead to blood clots that cause stroke or heart attack, especially as the patient ages. The irregularity of heartbeats has prevented visualization of the heart using standard cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), which attempts to average the beats. movie involves more information about the heart movement. Unaveraged, real-time CMR imaging can scan the heart of AFib patients. However, Radiology lacks methods to manage the irregularity. We developed tools for easy viewing and comparison heterogeneous heartbeats measured by CMR. We automatically track the main heart motion, resolved by PCA, which was implemented initially in the TRENDImaging software of Xu and Van Doren of MU. The new tool is now being used to compare arrhythmic and normal cardiac cycles. The new approach determines the distribution of lengths of heartbeats, records them using Poincare plots, and clusters them. These will be used for unsupervised and supervised multivariate statistical comparisons in an effort to classify the health status of subjects. Irregular heartbeats will be selected automatically for creating CMR movies of them for investigation of a subjects AFib characteristics. Future work will focus on scoring the irregularity of the AFib, characterizing unusual populations of heartbeats in AFib patients, and investigating respiratory dependencies of heartbeats.