Myocardial material property determination in the in vivo heart using magnetic resonance imaging

Michael J. Moulton, Lawrence L. Creswell, Stephen W. Downing, Ricardo L. Actis, Barna A. Szabó, Michael K. Pasque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine nonlinear material properties of passive, diastolic myocardium using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue-tagging, finite element analysis (FEA) and nonlinear optimization. Background: Alterations in the diastolic material properties of myocardium may pre-date the onset of or exist exclusive of systolic ventricular dysfunction in disease states such as hypertrophy and heart failure. Accordingly, significant effort has been expended recently to characterize the material properties of myocardium in diastole. The present study defines a new technique for determining material properties of passive myocardium using finite element (FE) models of the heart, MRI tissue-tagging and nonlinear optimization. This material parameter estimation algorithm is employed to estimate nonlinear material parameters in the in vivo canine heart and provides the necessary framework to study the full complexities of myocardial material behavior in health and disease. Methods and results: Material parameters for a proposed exponential strain energy function were determined by minimizing the least squares difference between FE model-predicted and MRI-measured diastolic strains. Six mongrel dogs underwent MRI imaging with radiofrequency (RF) tissue-tagging. Two-dimensional diastolic strains were measured from the deformations of the MRI tag lines. Finite element models were constructed from early diastolic images and were loaded with the mean early to late left ventricular and right ventricular diastolic change in pressure measured at the time of imaging. A nonlinear optimization algorithm was employed to solve the least squares objective function for the material parameters. Average material parameters for the six dogs were E = 28,722 ± 15,984 dynes/cm2 and c = 0.00182 ± 0.00232 cm2/dyne. Conclusion: This parameter estimation algorithm provides the necessary framework for estimating the nonlinear, anisotropic and non-homogeneous material properties of passive myocardium in health and disease in the in vivo beating heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiac Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • finite element analysis (FEA)
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • material properties


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