Radonc/BME Medical Image and
Computational Analysis Laboratory
Shoba Abraham
biochemistry, pre-med
expected graduation Spring 2022


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My Resume (updated Nov. 2019)

Honors and Awards
      -- Awarded Most Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation for the 2020 UF Health Cancer Center Research Symposium
      -- Recipient of 2020 UF Health Cancer Center University Scholars Program Award
      -- Recipient of 2019 UF Emerging Scholars Program Award

Research Overview

Validating global longitudinal strain as a measure of heart function

Background and Significance
There are many clinical scenarios in which early detection of changes in the heart’s functionality can be critical in determining whether to maintain or modify a patient's treatment plan. Changes in the heart’s functionality is conventionally measured using Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF), which when using limited views and common geometric assumptions could yield an error as high as 49%. A new metric coined Global Longitudinal Strain (GLS) is supposedly more sensitive than conventional LVEF methods. The GLS scale is manufactured, meaning the normal value for GLS was identified by computing the value for multiple healthy patients. Therefore, the value does not correlate with a concrete measure of the heart. The goal of this project is to conduct a rigorous analysis of the limitations associated with GLS with regards to selection of the long-axis slice orientation.

Hypothesis
Each of the twelve long axis slice orientations taken from different Magnetic Resolution Image (MRI) viewing angles will yield different GLS values, indicating a large interpatient variability in the GLS value.


Methods
High resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were acquired of an isolated canine heart undergoing passive inflation. Twelve long-axis views were prescribed radially about the left ventricle central axis. In each view, points were placed along the inner contour of the left ventricle to create an arc from the mitral valve to the apex of the left ventricle and then back up. The percent difference in the arc length from systole and diastole was calculated to produce a GLS estimate for each view.
      A program coded in-house using snake-based segmentation program, an active contour that minimizes bending energy, was used to gather geometric information about the location of the plotted points along the left ventricle’s inner contour. The coordinates of the various points plotted along the arc where provided from both the diastole and systole. The distance between each point was calculated and totaled to find the arc length for each phase of the heart.

Results
My results were presented as a poster at the national Biomedical Engineering Society annual research conference, in Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 2019).

  • National Presentations
    Abraham S, Siva Kumar S, O' Dell W.
          Evaluating Variability in the Measurement of Global Longitudinal Strain with Slice Orientation.
          Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA:
          Oct. 16, 2019.

  • Local Presentations
    Abraham S, Siva Kumar S, O' Dell W.
          Evaluating Variability in the Measurement of Global Longitudinal Strain with Slice Orientation.
          UF Health Cancer Center Research Symposium, Dec. 8, 2020.
                Awarded Most Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation
          UF Undergradaute Research Symposium, Oct. 22, 2019.

  • Related MIACALab projects
    1. Myocardial MRI tagging
    2. Lung radiation dose response

  • Close Research Collaborators
    1. W. O'Dell (Radiation Oncology Research)
    2. Dr. Julie Bradley
    3. Dr. Paul Okunieff