Virtual histology of the heart through CT imaging: preliminary results of a novel noninvasive approach for cardiac tissue characterization

Riccardo Forni1, Carmine Gelormini1, Cristiana Corsi2, Paolo Gargiulo1
1Institute of Biomedical and Neural Engineering, Reykjavik University, 2University of Bologna


The world's population is aging and cardiovascular diseases can become the first cause of frailty in the next future. This study proposes a novel workflow to measure cardiac tissue quality and composition from a CT scan directly through the Hounsfield Units distribution of 3D samples. The cohort includes 15 healthy subjects to study normal heart densitometric composition and 7 hypertrophic patients to measure how the pathology affects myocardial tissue. A significative fat content of 3% of the volume is found in the hypertrophic free wall while the connective tissue in the septum changed from just above 1% to around 5%. Therefore, the proposed noninvasive approach might become a clinical marker to improve diagnosis derived from CT imaging.