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Three-dimensional (3-D) imaging of the heart is a rapidly developing area of research in medical imaging. Advances in hardware and methods for fast spatio-temporal cardiac imaging are extending the frontiers of clinical diagnosis and research on cardiovascular diseases. In the last few years, many approaches have been proposed to analyze images and extract parameters of cardiac shape and function from a variety of cardiac imaging modalities. In particular, techniques based on spatio-temporal geometric models have received considerable attention. This paper surveys the literature of two decades of research on cardiac modeling. The contribution of the paper is three-fold: (1) to serve as a tutorial of the field for both clinicians and technologists, (2) to provide an extensive account of modeling techniques in a comprehensive and systematic manner, and (3) to critically review these approaches in terms of their performance and degree of clinical evaluation with respect to the final goal of cardiac functional analysis. From this review it is concluded that whereas 3-D model-based approaches have the capability to improve the diagnostic value of cardiac images, issues as robustness, 3-D interaction, computational complexity and clinical validation still require significant attention.
Date of Publication: Jan 2001