In the literature: Summer 2023 highlights

Click here to read some interesting recently published papers from our community. If you have published an article in the field of in silico medicine, send it to us: we will include it in this section of the newsletter!

Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics: AugmentA: Patient-specific augmented atrial model generation tool.

Luca Azzolin et al

Abstract

Digital twins of patients’ hearts are a promising tool to assess arrhythmia vulnerability and to personalize therapy. However, the process of building personalized computational models can be challenging and requires a high level of human interaction. We propose a patient-specific Augmented Atria generation pipeline (AugmentA) as a highly automated framework which, starting from clinical geometrical data, provides ready-to-use atrial personalized computational models. AugmentA identifies and labels atrial orifices using only one reference point per atrium. If the user chooses to fit a statistical shape model to the input geometry, it is first rigidly aligned with the given mean shape before a non-rigid fitting procedure is applied. AugmentA automatically generates the fiber orientation and finds local conduction velocities by minimizing the error between the simulated and clinical local activation time (LAT) map. The pipeline was tested on a cohort of 29 patients on both segmented magnetic resonance images (MRI) and electroanatomical maps of the left atrium. Moreover, the pipeline was applied to a bi-atrial volumetric mesh derived from MRI. The pipeline robustly integrated fiber orientation and anatomical region annotations in 38.4 ± 5.7 s. In conclusion, AugmentA offers an automated and comprehensive pipeline delivering atrial digital twins from clinical data in procedural time.

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Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Non-invasive localization of the ventricular excitation origin without patient-specific geometries using deep learning.

Nicolas Pilia et al

Abstract

Cardiovascular diseases account for 17 million deaths per year worldwide. Of these, 25% are categorized as sudden cardiac death, which can be related to ventricular tachycardia (VT). This type of arrhythmia can be caused by focal activation sources outside the sinus node. Catheter ablation of these foci is a curative treatment in order to inactivate the abnormal triggering activity. However, the localization procedure is usually time-consuming and requires an invasive procedure in the catheter lab. To facilitate and expedite the treatment, we present two novel localization support techniques based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) that address these clinical needs. In contrast to existing methods, our approaches were designed to be independent of the patient-specific geometry and directly applicable to surface ECG signals, while also delivering a binary transmural position. Moreover, one of the method’s outputs can be interpreted as several ranked solutions. The CNNs were trained on a dataset containing only simulated data and evaluated both on simulated test data and clinical data. On a novel large and open simulated dataset, the median test error was below 3 mm. The median localization error on the unseen clinical data ranged from 32 mm to 41 mm without optimizing the pre-processing and CNN to the clinical data. Interpreting the output of one of the approaches as ranked solutions, the best median error of the top-3 solutions decreased to 20 mm on the clinical data. The transmural position was correctly detected in up to 82% of all clinical cases. These results demonstrate a proof of principle to utilize CNNs to localize the activation source without the intrinsic need for patient-specific geometrical information. Furthermore, providing multiple solutions can assist physicians in identifying the true activation source amongst more than one possible location. With further optimization to clinical data, these methods have high potential to accelerate clinical interventions, replace certain steps within these procedures and consequently reduce procedural risk and improve VT patient outcomes.

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The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: 3D Finite Element Models reconstructed from 2D DXA images improve hip fracture predictiong compared to areal BMD in MROS Sweden cohort.

Lorenzo Grassi et al

Abstract

Bone strength is an important contributor to fracture risk. Areal bone mineral density (aBMD) derived from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used as a surrogate for bone strength in fracture risk prediction tools. 3D finite element (FE) models predict bone strength better than aBMD, but their clinical use is limited by the need for 3D computed tomography and lack of automation. We have earlier developed a method to reconstruct the 3D hip anatomy from a 2D DXA image, followed by subject-specific FE-based prediction of proximal femoral strength. In the current study, we aim to evaluate the method's ability to predict incident hip fractures in a population-based cohort (MrOS Sweden).

We defined two sub-cohorts: (i) hip fracture cases and controls cohort: 120 men with a hip fracture (<10 years from baseline) and 2 controls to each hip fracture case, matched by age, height, and body mass index; (ii) fallers cohort: 86 men who had fallen the year before their hip DXA scan was acquired, 15 of which sustained a hip fracture during the following 10 years. For each participant, we reconstructed the 3D hip anatomy and predicted proximal femoral strength in 10 sideways fall configurations using FE analysis. The FE-predicted proximal femoral strength was a better predictor of incident hip fractures than aBMD for both hip fracture cases and controls (difference in area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, ΔAUROC = 0.06) and fallers (ΔAUROC = 0.22) cohorts.

This is the first time that FE models outperform aBMD in predicting incident hip fractures in a population-based prospectively followed cohort based on 3D FE models obtained from a 2D DXA scan. Our approach has potential to notably improve the accuracy of fracture risk predictions in a clinically feasible manner (only one single DXA image is needed) and without additional costs compared to the current clinical approach.

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Critical Care: Computational physiological models for individualised mechanical ventilation: a systematic literature review focussing on quality, availability, and clinical readiness.

R. S. P. Warnaar et al

Abstract

Individualised optimisation of mechanical ventilation (MV) remains cumbersome in modern intensive care medicine. Computerised, model-based support systems could help in tailoring MV settings to the complex interactions between MV and the individual patient's pathophysiology. Therefore, we critically appraised the current literature on computational physiological models (CPMs) for individualised MV in the ICU with a focus on quality, availability, and clinical readiness.

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Computer methods and programs in Biomedicine: Credibility assessment of computational models according to ASME V&V40: Application to the Bologna Biomechanical Computed Tomography solution.

Alessandra Aldieri et al

Abstract

When a computational model aims to be adopted beyond research purposes, e.g. to inform a clinical or regulatory decision, trust must be placed in its predictive accuracy. This practically translates into the need to demonstrate its credibility. In fact, prior to its adoption for regulatory purposes, an in silico methodology should be proven credible enough for the scope. This has become especially relevant as, although evidence of the safety and efficacy of new medical products or interventions has been traditionally provided to the regulator experimentally, i.e., in vivo or ex vivo, recently the idea to inform a regulatory decision in silico has made its way in the regulatory scenario. While a harmonised technical standard is currently missing in the EU regulatory system, in 2018 the ASME issued V&V40–2018, where a risk-based framework to assess the credibility of a computational model through the performance of predefined credibility activities is provided. The credibility framework is here applied to Bologna Biomechanical Computed Tomography (BBCT) solution, which predicts the absolute risk of fracture at the femur for a subject. BBCT has recently been the object of a qualification advice request to the European Medicine Agency.

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Date: 24/07/2023 | Tag: | News: 1482 of 1554
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