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The Fractal Complexity of Myocardial Trabeculae

Captur, G; (2015) The Fractal Complexity of Myocardial Trabeculae. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Objectives: This thesis centres on the development of a technique for quantifying left ventricular (LV) trabeculation using fractal geometry. Fractals are natural phenomena or mathematical sets of infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. In humans, my objectives were to use a fractal analysis to i) better diagnose LV noncompaction (LVNC); ii) describe population-based reference ranges; iii) appraise the role of trabeculae as a pre-phenotypic disease marker in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In the mouse, my objectives were to use a fractal analysis to i) track the transformation (“compaction”) in myocardial wall structure during embryogenesis; ii) describe the trabecular profile in LVNC models. Background: Quantification of trabeculation is important for the diagnosis of LVNC. Current criteria have limitations. The complexity of trabeculae led us to hypothesize that a fractal approach applied to imaging datasets of the heart (cardiovascular magnetic resonance [CMR] in humans; high-resolution episcopic microscopy [HREM] in mice) would be of value. Methods: We created a fractal tool for human application in MATLAB® and subsequently OsiriX, and then deployed it within the commercial software platform, cvi42 for distribution (see Chapter 6). Using the former I measured fractal dimensions (FD) in a number of key healthy and diseased cohorts including: 135 LVNC patients/controls, 176 HCM patients/matched controls (including subclinical HCM in a 13- centre study) and 2,547 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). I adapted the methodology to analyse the trabecular development in 123 embryonic mouse hearts at stages, E14.5, E15.5, E16.5, E17.5 and E18.5. Results: Human CMR fractal analysis was reproducible at multicentre scale (Chapters 8 - 11). The FD varied in a characteristic pattern from LV base to apex. The maximal apical FD (FDMaxApical) was increased in LVNC (1.392 ± 0.010) and in overt HCM (1.370 ± 0.08), and in subclinical HCM it was predictive of sarcomere gene mutation carriage (β = 1.6, P < 0.001). In healthy hearts, it was higher in African-Americans, Hispanics, and hypertensives and lower in Chinese-Americans compared to Caucasians. In Chapter 12 I show how the mature embryo heart exhibits a base-to-apex trabecular pattern similar to that observed in humans, and how FD falls (especially basally) with development, but progressed abnormally in LVNC models. Conclusions: Fractal analysis represents a new method for objectively quantifying myocardial trabecular complexity. The tools I have created are simple to use and commercially/freeware available. They can demonstrate the difference between health and overt/preclinical disease, and between different ethnicities. New insights into cardiac development in humans and mouse, particularly in HCM are presented, as are insights into cardiac adaptation in health.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Fractal Complexity of Myocardial Trabeculae
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Clinical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464287
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