Frontiers in Physiology (Apr 2021)

Direct Comparison of Bayesian and Fermi Deconvolution Approaches for Myocardial Blood Flow Quantification: In silico and Clinical Validations

  • Clément Daviller,
  • Timothé Boutelier,
  • Shivraman Giri,
  • Hélène Ratiney,
  • Marie-Pierre Jolly,
  • Jean-Paul Vallée,
  • Pierre Croisille,
  • Pierre Croisille,
  • Magalie Viallon,
  • Magalie Viallon

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12


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Cardiac magnetic resonance myocardial perfusion imaging can detect coronary artery disease and is an alternative to single-photon emission computed tomography or positron emission tomography. However, the complex, non-linear MR signal and the lack of robust quantification of myocardial blood flow have hindered its widespread clinical application thus far. Recently, a new Bayesian approach was developed for brain imaging and evaluation of perfusion indexes (Kudo et al., 2014). In addition to providing accurate perfusion measurements, this probabilistic approach appears more robust than previous approaches, particularly due to its insensitivity to bolus arrival delays. We assessed the performance of this approach against a well-known and commonly deployed model-independent method based on the Fermi function for cardiac magnetic resonance myocardial perfusion imaging. The methods were first evaluated for accuracy and precision using a digital phantom to test them against the ground truth; next, they were applied in a group of coronary artery disease patients. The Bayesian method can be considered an appropriate model-independent method with which to estimate myocardial blood flow and delays. The digital phantom comprised a set of synthetic time-concentration curve combinations generated with a 2-compartment exchange model and a realistic combination of perfusion indexes, arterial input dynamics, noise and delays collected from the clinical dataset. The myocardial blood flow values estimated with the two methods showed an excellent correlation coefficient (r2 > 0.9) under all noise and delay conditions. The Bayesian approach showed excellent robustness to bolus arrival delays, with a similar performance to Fermi modeling when delays were considered. Delays were better estimated with the Bayesian approach than with Fermi modeling. An in vivo analysis of coronary artery disease patients revealed that the Bayesian approach had an excellent ability to distinguish between abnormal and normal myocardium. The Bayesian approach was able to discriminate not only flows but also delays with increased sensitivity by offering a clearly enlarged range of distribution for the physiologic parameters.