Dr. O'Dell's PhD and post-doc efforts were in the area of cardiac MR tagging and finite element modeling of myocardial function. He has developed software for computer-assisted contouring of the heart, 3D heart surface modeling, and recently inveted a new approach for tag-based motion reconstruction using a deformable image registration approach and virtual tagged images. We using these tools to quantify =acute and chronic changes in myocardial function in breast cancer patients who receive RT to the chest wall, funded through a pilot grant from the Ocala Royal Dames for Cancer Research.
In out initial data analysis, we are able to measure a decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction in patients receiving conventional X-ray-based therapy, but a stabilization and recovere in LVEF in patients receiving proton therapy.
In the future we may investigate heart right ventricular function and pulmonary vascular response in children and adults with chronic pulmonary hypertension. Here our ability to segment, label and characterize vascualr structural abnormalities (see that project page here) may prove useful for assessing disease progression, treatment response, and for babies born very prematurely whether their lung vasculature is sufficiently developed to safely remove them from mechanical ventilators.
Figure 1 [A] Dr. O'Dell's beating heart with tags.
[B] 3D plot of circumferential strain in a patient with an infarct secondary to occlussion of the LAD.
[C] FEM mesh depiction of the left ventricle going from a reference to a deformed state.
Blackband, S., Chatham, J., O'Dell, W. and Day, S.
Echo Planar Imaging of Isolated Perfused Rat Hearts at 4.7 T:
A Comparison of Langendorff and Working Heart Preparations
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 15:240-245, 1990