The three-dimensional (3-D) nature of myocardial deformations is dependent on ventricular geometry, muscle fiber architecture, wall stresses, and myocardial-material properties. The imaging modalities of X-ray angiography, echocardiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (MRI) are described in the context of visualizing and quantifying cardiac mechanical function. The quantification of ventricular anatomy and cavity volumes is then reviewed, and surface reconstructions in three dimensions are demonstrated. The imaging of myocardial wall motion is discussed, with an emphasis on current MRI and tissue Doppler imaging techniques and their potential clinical applications. Calculation of 3-D regional strains from motion maps is reviewed and illustrated with clinical MRI tagging results. We conclude by presenting a promising technique to assess myocardial-fiber architecture, and we outline its potential applications, in conjunction with quantification of anatomy and regional strains, for the determination of myocardial stress and work distributions. The quantification of multiple components of 3-D cardiac function has potential for both fundamental-science and clinical applications.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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