The goal of the proposed work is to create an atlas of normal adult cardiac microstructure that will serve as a basis for improving our understanding of how cardiac microstructure is altered during the course of disease.
Furthermore, the group intends to incorporate accurate human heart microstructural details into computer models of ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation, in which the electrical rhythm of the heart becomes chaotic and the pumping function of the heart dramatically decreases, is an active area of research at UCLA in the laboratory of Dr. Garfinkel. In order to test whether their current non-human models of ventricular fibrillation translate to ventricular fibrillation in human hearts, they need human heart DTMRI data.
Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTMRI) is an emerging methodology that non-destructively quantifies a tissue's regional microstructural organization. Remarkably, very little DTMRI data exists for healthy human hearts and even less is known about diseased human hearts.