Reproducibility assessment of a biomechanical model-based elasticity imaging method for identifying changes in left ventricular mechanical stiffness.

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Cardiotoxicity of antineoplastic therapies is increasingly a risk to cancer patients treated with curative intent with years of life to protect. Studies highlight the importance of identifying early cardiac decline in cancer patients undergoing cardiotoxic therapies. Accurate tools to study this are a critical clinical need. Current and emerging methods for assessing cardiotoxicity are too coarse for identifying preclinical cardiac degradation or too cumbersome for clinical implementation.


In the previous work, we developed a noninvasive biomechanical model-based elasticity imaging methodology (BEIM) to assess mechanical stiffness changes of the left ventricle (LV) based on routine cine cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images. We examine this methodology to assess methodological reproducibility. We assessed a cohort of 10 participants that underwent test/retest short-axis CMR imaging at baseline and follow-up sessions as part of a previous publicly available study. We compare test images to retest images acquired within the same session to assess within-session reproducibility. We also compare test and retest images acquired at the baseline imaging session to test and retest images acquired at the follow-up imaging session to assess between-session reproducibility.


We establish the within-session and between-session reproducibility of our method, with global elasticity demonstrating repeatability within a range previously demonstrated in cardiac strain imaging studies. We demonstrate increased repeatability of global elasticity compared to segmental elasticity for both within-session and between-session. Within-subject coefficients of variation for within-session test/retest images globally for all modulus directions and a mechanical fractional mechanical stiffness anisotropy metric ranged from 11% to 28%.


Results suggest that our methodology can reproducibly generate estimates of relative mechanical elasticity of the LV and provides a threshold for distinguishing true changes in myocardial mechanical stiffness from experimental variation. BEIM has applications in identifying preclinical cardiotoxicity in breast cancer patients undergoing antineoplastic therapies.





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Miller, Caroline E, Jennifer H Jordan, Emily Douglas, Katherine Ansley, Alexandra Thomas and Jared A Weis (2022). Reproducibility assessment of a biomechanical model-based elasticity imaging method for identifying changes in left ventricular mechanical stiffness. Journal of medical imaging (Bellingham, Wash.), 9(5). p. 056001. 10.1117/1.jmi.9.5.056001 Retrieved from

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Alexandra Thomas

Professor of Medicine

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