TOMOGRAPHY, September 2017, Volume 3, Issue 3:163-173
Vascular Deformation Mapping (VDM) of Thoracic Aortic Enlargement in Aneurysmal Disease and Dissection
Thoracic aortic aneurysm is a common and lethal disease that requires regular imaging surveillance to determine timing of surgical repair and prevent major complications such as rupture. Current cross-sectional imaging surveillance techniques, largely based on computed tomography angiography, are focused on measurement of maximal aortic diameter, although this approach is limited to fixed anatomic positions and is prone to significant measurement error. Here we present preliminary results showing the feasibility of a novel technique for assessing change in aortic dimensions, termed vascular deformation mapping (VDM). This technique allows quantification of 3-dimensional changes in the aortic wall geometry through nonrigid coregistration of computed tomography angiography images and spatial Jacobian analysis of aortic deformation. Through several illustrative cases we demonstrate that this method can be used to measure changes in the aortic wall geometry among patients with stable and enlarging thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection. Furthermore, VDM results yield observations about the presence, distribution, and rate of aortic wall deformation that are not apparent by routine clinical evaluation. Finally, we show the feasibility of superposing patient-specific VDM results on a 3-dimensional aortic model using color 3D printing and discuss future directions and potential applications for the VDM technique.