Principal Investigator: Prof Ernesta Meintjes

Traditional methods of diagnosing cardiomyopathies, characterized by myocardial strain abnormalities, lack sensitivity due to the fact that these diseases may be patchy in nature. While displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE), developed by Frederick Epstein from the University of Virginia (UVA), offers a novel method for assessing myocardial strain at a pixel resolution throughout the cardiac cycle, the processing was tedious and time consuming. PhD student, Bruce Spottiswoode, pioneered new processing techniques for cine DENSE data, including techniques for tracking motion of discrete segments of myocardial tissue through the cardiac cycle (Spottiswoode et al., 2006,2007,2008), assessing intramyocardial strain in both the left and thin right ventricles, and segmenting the myocardium from the surrounding tissue in a semi-automated manner (Spottiswoode et al., 2009).

More recently, these methods have been extended for the analysis of 3D cine DENSE data, and a method has been developed for semi-automated left ventricular segmentation (Auger et al., 2014).