Scientists scan the human heart to create digital anatomical library

April 18, 2013, The Journal of Visualized Experiments

On April 18th JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) will publish a new video article by Dr. Paul A Iaizzo demonstrating the anatomical reconstruction of an active human heart. The research uses contrast-computed tomography (CT) to allow in-depth 3-D computer modeling of hearts that can be used for prolonged archiving.

Computational technology, when combined with advanced imaging techniques like CT, gives researchers extensive insight to the structure and function of . While often these techniques may be applied to modeling structural elements like a vertebrate's skeletal system, applying these imaging capabilities to can create maps of an individual heart's venous system and musculature. In JoVE's new video article, surgeons and from the University of Minnesota use these new technologies to create a digital library of specimens.

This is the video article, "Anatomical Reconstructions Of The Human Cardiac Venous System Using Contrast-Computed Tomography of Perfusion-fixed Specimens." Credit: jove.com

Dr. Iaizzo's laboratory is able to collect human heart specimens from that were not deemed viable for transplant because the donor had been expired for too long, had a , or the did not match a patient's immediate need. In these cases, Dr. Iaizzo and his colleagues around the world gain access to these organs for medical research and indexing. "We can look at a lot of the variations in heart anatomy [and] because everybody's heart is unique we can really understand variations and how the heart changes with disease."

By using contrast dyes and other reagents, Dr. Iaizzo can preserve and prepare the donated hearts to be in a diastolic state, the part of a heartbeat where the heart is filled with blood from the ventricles before expelling it into the aortas. This brings a deeper insight into physiological attributes of the heart, including fluid capacity and pressure on the heart chambers. Once the preserved hearts are scanned, computer models are generated, which allow approximations and correlations to be established between various heart shapes and disorders. Dr. Iaizzo expects this to assist in the design of cardiac devices.

"You don't have an appreciation for these specimens, and that you can still add contrast agents to them, without the video component," Dr. Iaizzo says of his decision to publish his methods in a video article, "The JoVE video shows how you can critically develop these [3-D models]. If someone is developing devices that can go into a cardiac venous or arterial system, then you can really look at these before and after treatments and see how the therapy actually worked."

Explore further: Rhythm of heart revealed by 3D X-ray

More information: Iaizzo et. al.; www.jove.com/video/50258/anato … ystem-using-contrast

Related Stories

Rhythm of heart revealed by 3D X-ray

April 26, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the University have developed a new X-ray technique to identify tissue fibres in the heart that ensure the muscle beats in a regular rhythm.

A pulse no longer necessary for life

June 15, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- While most people connect a pulse and a heartbeat to life, Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier from the Texas Heart Institute have found a way to keep the blood circulating and extend the life of patients ...

An atlas of the human heart is drawn using statistics

February 26, 2013
Researchers at Pompeu Fabra University (Spain) have created a high resolution atlas of the heart with 3D images taken from 138 people. The study demonstrates that an average image of an organ along with its variations can ...

Donated hearts may beat much longer

February 14, 2012
New technology increases the length of time that a human heart can remain viable for transplant after removal from a donor for transplantation.

Recommended for you

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.