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SCI Publications

2016


L.D.J. Fiederer, J. Vorwerk, F. Lucka, M. Dannhauer, S. Yang, M. Dümpelmann, A. Schulze-Bonhage, A. Aertsen, O. Speck, C.H. Wolters, T. Ball. “The role of blood vessels in high-resolution volume conductor head modeling of EEG,” In NeuroImage, Vol. 128, Elsevier, pp. 193--208. March, 2016.
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.041

ABSTRACT

Reconstruction of the electrical sources of human EEG activity at high spatio-temporal accuracy is an important aim in neuroscience and neurological diagnostics. Over the last decades, numerous studies have demonstrated that realistic modeling of head anatomy improves the accuracy of source reconstruction of EEG signals. For example, including a cerebro-spinal fluid compartment and the anisotropy of white matter electrical conductivity were both shown to significantly reduce modeling errors. Here, we for the first time quantify the role of detailed reconstructions of the cerebral blood vessels in volume conductor head modeling for EEG. To study the role of the highly arborized cerebral blood vessels, we created a submillimeter head model based on ultra-high-field-strength (7T) structural MRI datasets. Blood vessels (arteries and emissary/intraosseous veins) were segmented using Frangi multi-scale vesselness filtering. The final head model consisted of a geometry-adapted cubic mesh with over 17×10(6) nodes. We solved the forward model using a finite-element-method (FEM) transfer matrix approach, which allowed reducing computation times substantially and quantified the importance of the blood vessel compartment by computing forward and inverse errors resulting from ignoring the blood vessels. Our results show that ignoring emissary veins piercing the skull leads to focal localization errors of approx. 5 to 15mm. Large errors (>2cm) were observed due to the carotid arteries and the dense arterial vasculature in areas such as in the insula or in the medial temporal lobe. Thus, in such predisposed areas, errors caused by neglecting blood vessels can reach similar magnitudes as those previously reported for neglecting white matter anisotropy, the CSF or the dura - structures which are generally considered important components of realistic EEG head models. Our findings thus imply that including a realistic blood vessel compartment in EEG head models will be helpful to improve the accuracy of EEG source analyses particularly when high accuracies in brain areas with dense vasculature are required.



C. Gall, S. Schmidt, M.P. Schittkowski, A. Antal, G. Ambrus, W. Paulus, M. Dannhauer, R. Michalik, A. Mante, M. Bola, A. Lux, S. Kropf, S.A. Brandt, B.A. Sabel. “Alternating Current Stimulation for Vision Restoration after Optic Nerve Damage: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” In PLOS ONE, Vol. 11, No. 6, Public Library of Science, pp. e0156134. jun, 2016.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156134

ABSTRACT

Background
Vision loss after optic neuropathy is considered irreversible. Here, repetitive transorbital alternating current stimulation (rtACS) was applied in partially blind patients with the goal of activating their residual vision.

Methods
We conducted a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial in an ambulatory setting with daily application of rtACS (n = 45) or sham-stimulation (n = 37) for 50 min for a duration of 10 week days. A volunteer sample of patients with optic nerve damage (mean age 59.1 yrs) was recruited. The primary outcome measure for efficacy was super-threshold visual fields with 48 hrs after the last treatment day and at 2-months follow-up. Secondary outcome measures were near-threshold visual fields, reaction time, visual acuity, and resting-state EEGs to assess changes in brain physiology.

Results
The rtACS-treated group had a mean improvement in visual field of 24.0% which was significantly greater than after sham-stimulation (2.5%). This improvement persisted for at least 2 months in terms of both within- and between-group comparisons. Secondary analyses revealed improvements of near-threshold visual fields in the central 5° and increased thresholds in static perimetry after rtACS and improved reaction times, but visual acuity did not change compared to shams. Visual field improvement induced by rtACS was associated with EEG power-spectra and coherence alterations in visual cortical networks which are interpreted as signs of neuromodulation. Current flow simulation indicates current in the frontal cortex, eye, and optic nerve and in the subcortical but not in the cortical regions.

Conclusion
rtACS treatment is a safe and effective means to partially restore vision after optic nerve damage probably by modulating brain plasticity. This class 1 evidence suggests that visual fields can be improved in a clinically meaningful way.



Y. Gao, M. Zhang, K. Grewen, P. T. Fletcher, G. Gerig. “Image registration and segmentation in longitudinal MRI using temporal appearance modeling,” In 2016 IEEE 13th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), IEEE, pp. 629--632. April, 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/isbi.2016.7493346



Samuel Gratzl, Alexander Lex, Nils Gehlenborg, Nicola Cosgrove, Marc Streit . “From Visual Exploration to Storytelling and Back Again,” In Computer Graphics Forum, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 491--500. jun, 2016.
ISSN: 1467-8659
DOI: 10.1111/cgf.12925

ABSTRACT

The primary goal of visual data exploration tools is to enable the discovery of new insights. To justify and reproduce insights, the discovery process needs to be documented and communicated. A common approach to documenting and presenting findings is to capture visualizations as images or videos. Images, however, are insufficient for telling the story of a visual discovery, as they lack full provenance information and context. Videos are difficult to produce and edit, particularly due to the non-linear nature of the exploratory process. Most importantly, however, neither approach provides the opportunity to return to any point in the exploration in order to review the state of the visualization in detail or to conduct additional analyses. In this paper we present CLUE (Capture, Label, Understand, Explain), a model that tightly integrates data exploration and presentation of discoveries. Based on provenance data captured during the exploration process, users can extract key steps, add annotations, and author "Vistories", visual stories based on the history of the exploration. These Vistories can be shared for others to view, but also to retrace and extend the original analysis. We discuss how the CLUE approach can be integrated into visualization tools and provide a prototype implementation. Finally, we demonstrate the general applicability of the model in two usage scenarios: a Gapminder-inspired visualization to explore public health data and an example from molecular biology that illustrates how Vistories could be used in scientific journals.



C. Gritton, M. Berzins. “Improving accuracy in the MPM method using a null space filter,” In Computational Particle Mechanics, pp. 1--12. 2016.
ISSN: 2196-4386
DOI: 10.1007/s40571-016-0134-3

ABSTRACT

The material point method (MPM) has been very successful in providing solutions to many challenging problems involving large deformations. Nevertheless there are some important issues that remain to be resolved with regard to its analysis. One key challenge applies to both MPM and particle-in-cell (PIC) methods and arises from the difference between the number of particles and the number of the nodal grid points to which the particles are mapped. This difference between the number of particles and the number of grid points gives rise to a non-trivial null space of the linear operator that maps particle values onto nodal grid point values. In other words, there are non-zero particle values that when mapped to the grid point nodes result in a zero value there. Moreover, when the nodal values at the grid points are mapped back to particles, part of those particle values may be in that same null space. Given positive mapping weights from particles to nodes such null space values are oscillatory in nature. While this problem has been observed almost since the beginning of PIC methods there are still elements of it that are problematical today as well as methods that transcend it. The null space may be viewed as being connected to the ringing instability identified by Brackbill for PIC methods. It will be shown that it is possible to remove these null space values from the solution using a null space filter. This filter improves the accuracy of the MPM methods using an approach that is based upon a local singular value decomposition (SVD) calculation. This local SVD approach is compared against the global SVD approach previously considered by the authors and to a recent MPM method by Zhang and colleagues.



A.V. P. Grosset, A. Knoll, C.D. Hansen. “Dynamically Scheduled Region-Based Image Compositing,” In Eurographics Symposium on Parallel Graphics and Visualization, June, 2016.

ABSTRACT

Algorithms for sort-last parallel volume rendering on large distributed memory machines usually divide a dataset equally across all nodes for rendering. Depending on the features that a user wants to see in a dataset, all the nodes will rarely finish rendering at the same time. Existing compositing algorithms do not often take this into consideration, which can lead to significant delays when nodes that are compositing wait for other nodes that are still rendering. In this paper, we present an image compositing algorithm that uses spatial and temporal awareness to dynamically schedule the exchange of regions in an image and progressively composite images as they become available. Running on the Edison supercomputer at NERSC, we show that a scheduler-based algorithm with awareness of the spatial contribution from each rendering node can outperform traditional image compositing algorithms.



A. V. P. Grosset, M. Prasad, C. Christensen, A. Knoll, C. Hansen. “TOD-Tree: Task-Overlapped Direct send Tree Image Compositing for Hybrid MPI Parallelism and GPUs,” In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE, pp. 1--1. 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/tvcg.2016.2542069

ABSTRACT

Modern supercomputers have thousands of nodes, each with CPUs and/or GPUs capable of several teraflops. However, the network connecting these nodes is relatively slow, on the order of gigabits per second. For time-critical workloads such as interactive visualization, the bottleneck is no longer computation but communication. In this paper, we present an image compositing algorithm that works on both CPU-only and GPU-accelerated supercomputers and focuses on communication avoidance and overlapping communication with computation at the expense of evenly balancing the workload. The algorithm has three stages: a parallel direct send stage, followed by a tree compositing stage and a gather stage. We compare our algorithm with radix-k and binary-swap from the IceT library in a hybrid OpenMP/MPI setting on the Stampede and Edison supercomputers, show strong scaling results and explain how we generally achieve better performance than these two algorithms. We developed a GPU-based image compositing algorithm where we use CUDA kernels for computation and GPU Direct RDMA for inter-node GPU communication. We tested the algorithm on the Piz Daint GPU-accelerated supercomputer and show that we achieve performance on par with CPUs. Lastly, we introduce a workflow in which both rendering and compositing are done on the GPU.



S. Guler, M. Dannhauer, B. Erem, R.S. Macleod, D. Tucker, S. Turovets, P. Luu, D. Erdogmus, D. Brooks. “Optimization of focality and direction in dense electrode array transcranial direct currentstimulation (tDCS),” In Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 3, IOP Publishing, pp. 036020. May, 2016.
DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/13/3/036020

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE:
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) aims to alter brain function non-invasively via electrodes placed on the scalp. Conventional tDCS uses two relatively large patch electrodes to deliver electrical current to the brain region of interest (ROI). Recent studies have shown that using dense arrays containing up to 512 smaller electrodes may increase the precision of targeting ROIs. However, this creates a need for methods to determine effective and safe stimulus patterns as the number of degrees of freedom is much higher with such arrays. Several approaches to this problem have appeared in the literature. In this paper, we describe a new method for calculating optimal electrode stimulus patterns for targeted and directional modulation in dense array tDCS which differs in some important aspects with methods reported to date.

APPROACH:
We optimize stimulus pattern of dense arrays with fixed electrode placement to maximize the current density in a particular direction in the ROI. We impose a flexible set of safety constraints on the current power in the brain, individual electrode currents, and total injected current, to protect subject safety. The proposed optimization problem is convex and thus efficiently solved using existing optimization software to find unique and globally optimal electrode stimulus patterns.

MAIN RESULTS:
Solutions for four anatomical ROIs based on a realistic head model are shown as exemplary results. To illustrate the differences between our approach and previously introduced methods, we compare our method with two of the other leading methods in the literature. We also report on extensive simulations that show the effect of the values chosen for each proposed safety constraint bound on the optimized stimulus patterns.

SIGNIFICANCE:
The proposed optimization approach employs volume based ROIs, easily adapts to different sets of safety constraints, and takes negligible time to compute. An in-depth comparison study gives insight into the relationship between different objective criteria and optimized stimulus patterns. In addition, the analysis of the interaction between optimized stimulus patterns and safety constraint bounds suggests that more precise current localization in the ROI, with improved safety criterion, may be achieved by careful selection of the constraint bounds.



B. Hollister, G. Duffley, C. Butson,, C.R. Johnson. “Visualization for Understanding Uncertainty in Activation Volumes for Deep Brain Stimulation,” In Eurographics Conference on Visualization, Edited by K.L. Ma G. Santucci, and J. van Wijk, 2016.

ABSTRACT

We have created the Neurostimulation Uncertainty Viewer (nuView or nView) tool for exploring data arising from deep brain stimulation (DBS). Simulated volume of tissue activated (VTA), using clinical electrode placements, are recorded along withpatient outcomes in the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS). The data is volumetric and sparse, with multi-value patient results for each activated voxel in the simulation. nView provides a collection of visual methods to explore the activated tissue to enhance understanding of electrode usage for improved therapy with DBS.



A. Humphrey, D. Sunderland, T. Harman, M. Berzins. “Radiative Heat Transfer Calculation on 16384 GPUs Using a Reverse Monte Carlo Ray Tracing Approach with Adaptive Mesh Refinement,” In 2016 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops (IPDPSW), pp. 1222-1231. May, 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/IPDPSW.2016.93

ABSTRACT

Modeling thermal radiation is computationally challenging in parallel due to its all-to-all physical and resulting computational connectivity, and is also the dominant mode of heat transfer in practical applications such as next-generation clean coal boilers, being modeled by the Uintah framework. However, a direct all-to-all treatment of radiation is prohibitively expensive on large computers systems whether homogeneous or heterogeneous. DOE Titan and the planned DOE Summit and Sierra machines are examples of current and emerging GPUbased heterogeneous systems where the increased processing capability of GPUs over CPUs exacerbates this problem. These systems require that computational frameworks like Uintah leverage an arbitrary number of on-node GPUs, while simultaneously utilizing thousands of GPUs within a single simulation. We show that radiative heat transfer problems can be made to scale within Uintah on heterogeneous systems through a combination of reverse Monte Carlo ray tracing (RMCRT) techniques combined with AMR, to reduce the amount of global communication. In particular, significant Uintah infrastructure changes, including a novel lock and contention-free, thread-scalable data structure for managing MPI communication requests and improved memory allocation strategies were necessary to achieve excellent strong scaling results to 16384 GPUs on Titan.



S. Kim, I.Lyu, V. Fonov, C. Vachet, H. Hazlett, R. Smith, J. Piven, S. Dager, R. Mckinstry, J. Pruett, A. Evans, D. Collins, K. Botteron, R. Schultz, G. Gerig, M. Styner. “Development of Cortical Shape in the Human Brain from 6 to 24 Months of Age via a Novel Measure of Shape Complexity,” In NeuroImage, Vol. 135, Elsevier, pp. 163--176. July, 2016.
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.053

ABSTRACT

The quantification of local surface morphology in the human cortex is important for examining population differences as well as developmental changes in neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental disorders. We propose a novel cortical shape measure, referred to as the 'shape complexity index' (SCI), that represents localized shape complexity as the difference between the observed distributions of local surface topology, as quantified by the shape index (SI) measure, to its best fitting simple topological model within a given neighborhood. We apply a relatively small, adaptive geodesic kernel to calculate the SCI. Due to the small size of the kernel, the proposed SCI measure captures fine differences of cortical shape. With this novel cortical feature, we aim to capture comparatively small local surface changes that capture a) the widening versus deepening of sulcal and gyral regions, as well as b) the emergence and development of secondary and tertiary sulci. Current cortical shape measures, such as the gyrification index (GI) or intrinsic curvature measures, investigate the cortical surface at a different scale and are less well suited to capture these particular cortical surface changes. In our experiments, the proposed SCI demonstrates higher complexity in the gyral/sulcal wall regions, lower complexity in wider gyral ridges and lowest complexity in wider sulcal fundus regions. In early postnatal brain development, our experiments show that SCI reveals a pattern of increased cortical shape complexity with age, as well as sexual dimorphisms in the insula, middle cingulate, parieto-occipital sulcal and Broca's regions. Overall, sex differences were greatest at 6months of age and were reduced at 24months, with the difference pattern switching from higher complexity in males at 6months to higher complexity in females at 24months. This is the first study of longitudinal, cortical complexity maturation and sex differences, in the early postnatal period from 6 to 24months of age with fine scale, cortical shape measures. These results provide information that complement previous studies of gyrification index in early brain development.



M. Larsen, K. Moreland, C.R. Johnson,, H. Childs. “Optimizing Multi-Image Sort-Last Parallel Rendering,” In Symposium on Large Data Analysis and Visualization, IEEE, 2016.

ABSTRACT

Sort-last parallel rendering can be improved by considering the rendering of multiple images at a time. Most parallel rendering algorithms consider the generation of only a single image. This makes sense when performing interactive rendering where the parameters of each rendering are not known until the previous rendering completes. However, in situ visualization often generates multiple images that do not need to be created sequentially. In this paper we present a simple and effective approach to improving parallel image generation throughput by amortizing the load and overhead among multiple image renders. Additionally, we validate our approach by conducting a performance study exploring the achievable speed-ups in a variety of image-based in situ use cases and rendering workloads. On average, our approach shows a 1.5 to 3.7 fold improvement in performance, and in some cases, shows a 10 fold improvement.



D. Maljovec, S. Liu, Bei Wang, V. Pascucci, P. T. Bremer, D. Mandelli, C. Smith.. “Analyzing Simulation-Based PRA Data Through Traditional and Topological Clustering: A BWR Station Blackout Case Study,” In Reliability Engineering & System Safety, Vol. 145, Elsevier, pp. 262--276. January, 2016.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ress.2015.07.001

ABSTRACT

Dynamic probabilistic risk assessment (DPRA) methodologies couple system simulator codes (e.g., RELAP, MELCOR) with simulation controller codes (e.g., RAVEN, ADAPT). Whereas system simulator codes model system dynamics deterministically, simulation controller codes introduce both deterministic (e.g., system control logic, operating procedures) and stochastic (e.g., component failures, parameter uncertainties) elements into the simulation. Typically, a DPRA is performed by sampling values of a set of parameters, and simulating the system behavior for that specific set of parameter values. For complex systems, a major challenge in using DPRA methodologies is to analyze the large number of scenarios generated, where clustering techniques are typically employed to better organize and interpret the data. In this paper, we focus on the analysis of two nuclear simulation datasets that are part of the risk-informed safety margin characterization (RISMC) boiling water reactor (BWR) station blackout (SBO) case study. We provide the domain experts a software tool that encodes traditional and topological clustering techniques within an interactive analysis and visualization environment, for understanding the structures of such high-dimensional nuclear simulation datasets. We demonstrate through our case study that both types of clustering techniques complement each other in bringing enhanced structural understanding of the data.



K. Moreland, C. Sewell, W. Usher, L. Lo, J. Meredith, D. Pugmire, J. Kress, H. Schroots, K. Ma, H. Childs, M. Larsen, C. Chen, R. Maynard, B. Geveci. “VTK-m: Accelerating the Visualization Toolkit for Massively Threaded Architectures,” In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 48--58. May, 2016.
ISSN: 0272-1716
DOI: 10.1109/MCG.2016.48

ABSTRACT

Traditional scientific visualization software approaches do not fare well in massively threaded environments. To address the needs of the high-performance computing community, the VTK-m framework fills the gaps in functionality by bringing together the most recent research.



P. Muralidharan, J. Fishbaugh, E. Y. Kim, H. J. Johnson, J. S. Paulsen, G. Gerig, P. T. Fletcher. “Bayesian Covariate Selection in Mixed Effects Models for Longitudinal Shape Analysis,” In International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), IEEE, April, 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/isbi.2016.7493352

ABSTRACT

The goal of longitudinal shape analysis is to understand how anatomical shape changes over time, in response to biological processes, including growth, aging, or disease. In many imaging studies, it is also critical to understand how these shape changes are affected by other factors, such as sex, disease diagnosis, IQ, etc. Current approaches to longitudinal shape analysis have focused on modeling age-related shape changes, but have not included the ability to handle covariates. In this paper, we present a novel Bayesian mixed-effects shape model that incorporates simultaneous relationships between longitudinal shape data and multiple predictors or covariates to the model. Moreover, we place an Automatic Relevance Determination (ARD) prior on the parameters, that lets us automatically select which covariates are most relevant to the model based on observed data. We evaluate our proposed model and inference procedure on a longitudinal study of Huntington's disease from PREDICT-HD. We first show the utility of the ARD prior for model selection in a univariate modeling of striatal volume, and next we apply the full high-dimensional longitudinal shape model to putamen shapes.



C. Partl, S. Gratzl, M. Streit, A. Wassermann, H. Pfister, D. Schmalstieg, A. Lex. “Pathfinder: Visual Analysis of Paths in Graphs,” In Computer Graphics Forum (EuroVis '16), Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 71-80. jun, 2016.
ISSN: 1467-8659
DOI: 10.1111/cgf.12883

ABSTRACT

The analysis of paths in graphs is highly relevant in many domains. Typically, path-related tasks are performed in node-link layouts. Unfortunately, graph layouts often do not scale to the size of many real world networks. Also, many networks are multivariate, i.e., contain rich attribute sets associated with the nodes and edges. These attributes are often critical in judging paths, but directly visualizing attributes in a graph layout exacerbates the scalability problem. In this paper, we present visual analysis solutions dedicated to path-related tasks in large and highly multivariate graphs. We show that by focusing on paths, we can address the scalability problem of multivariate graph visualization, equipping analysts with a powerful tool to explore large graphs. We introduce Pathfinder, a technique that provides visual methods to query paths, while considering various constraints. The resulting set of paths is visualized in both a ranked list and as a node-link diagram. For the paths in the list, we display rich attribute data associated with nodes and edges, and the node-link diagram provides topological context. The paths can be ranked based on topological properties, such as path length or average node degree, and scores derived from attribute data. Pathfinder is designed to scale to graphs with tens of thousands of nodes and edges by employing strategies such as incremental query results. We demonstrate Pathfinder's fitness for use in scenarios with data from a coauthor network and biological pathways.



Y. Pathak, O. Salami, S. Baillet, Z. Li, C.R. Butson. “Longitudinal Changes in Depressive Circuitry in Response to Neuromodulation Therapy,” In Frontiers in Neural Circuits, Vol. 10, rontiers Media SA, July, 2016.
DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2016.00050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a public health problem worldwide. There is increasing interest in using non-invasive therapies such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to treat MDD. However, the changes induced by rTMS on neural circuits remain poorly characterized. The present study aims to test whether the brain regions previously targeted by deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of MDD respond to rTMS, and whether functional connectivity (FC) measures can predict clinical response.

METHODS:
rTMS (20 sessions) was administered to five MDD patients at the left-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (L-DLPFC) over 4 weeks. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings and Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) assessments were acquired before, during and after treatment. Our primary measures, obtained with MEG source imaging, were changes in power spectral density (PSD) and changes in FC as measured using coherence.

RESULTS:
Of the five patients, four met the clinical response criterion (40% or greater decrease in MADRS) after 4 weeks of treatment. An increase in gamma power at the L-DLPFC was correlated with improvement in symptoms. We also found that increases in delta band connectivity between L-DLPFC/amygdala and L-DLPFC/pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC), and decreases in gamma band connectivity between L-DLPFC/subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC), were correlated with improvements in depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results suggest that non-invasive intervention techniques, such as rTMS, modulate the ongoing activity of depressive circuits targeted for DBS, and that MEG can capture these changes. Gamma oscillations may originate from GABA-mediated inhibition, which increases synchronization of large neuronal populations, possibly leading to increased long-range FC. We postulate that responses to rTMS could provide valuable insights into early evaluation of patient candidates for DBS surgery.



I.A. Polejaeva, R. Ranjan, C.J. Davies, M. Regouski, J. Hall, A.L. Olsen, Q. Meng, H.M. Rutigliano, D.J. Dosdall, N.A. Angel, F.B. Sachse, T. Seidel, A.J. Thomas, R. Stott, K.E. Panter, P.M. Lee, A.J. Van Wettere, J.R. Stevens, Z. Wang, R.S. Macleod, N.F. Marrouche, K.L. White. “Increased Susceptibility to Atrial Fibrillation Secondary to Atrial Fibrosis in Transgenic Goats Expressing Transforming Growth Factor-β1,” In Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, Vol. 27, No. 10, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 1220--1229. Aug, 2016.
DOI: 10.1111/jce.13049

ABSTRACT

Introduction
Large animal models of progressive atrial fibrosis would provide an attractive platform to study relationship between structural and electrical remodeling in atrial fibrillation (AF). Here we established a new transgenic goat model of AF with cardiac specific overexpression of TGF-β1 and investigated the changes in the cardiac structure and function leading to AF.

Methods and Results
Transgenic goats with cardiac specific overexpression of constitutively active TGF-β1 were generated by somatic cell nuclear transfer. We examined myocardial tissue, ECGs, echocardiographic data, and AF susceptibility in transgenic and wild-type control goats. Transgenic goats exhibited significant increase in fibrosis and myocyte diameters in the atria compared to controls, but not in the ventricles. P-wave duration was significantly greater in transgenic animals starting at 12 months of age, but no significant chamber enlargement was detected, suggesting conduction slowing in the atria. Furthermore, this transgenic goat model exhibited a significant increase in AF vulnerability. Six of 8 transgenic goats (75%) were susceptible to AF induction and exhibited sustained AF (>2 minutes), whereas none of 6 controls displayed sustained AF (P < 0.01). Length of induced AF episodes was also significantly greater in the transgenic group compared to controls (687 ± 212.02 seconds vs. 2.50 ± 0.88 seconds, P < 0.0001), but no persistent or permanent AF was observed.

Conclusion
A novel transgenic goat model with a substrate for AF was generated. In this model, cardiac overexpression of TGF-β1 led to an increase in fibrosis and myocyte size in the atria, and to progressive P-wave prolongation. We suggest that these factors underlie increased AF susceptibility.



M. Raj, M. Mirzargar, R. Kirby, R. Whitaker, J. Preston. “Evaluating Shape Alignment via Ensemble Visualization,” In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 36, No. 3, IEEE, pp. 60--71. May, 2016.
DOI: 10.1109/mcg.2015.70

ABSTRACT

The visualization of variability in surfaces embedded in 3D, which is a type of ensemble uncertainty visualization, provides a means of understanding the underlying distribution of a collection or ensemble of surfaces. This work extends the contour boxplot technique to 3D and evaluates it against an enumeration-style visualization of the ensemble members and other conventional visualizations used by atlas builders. The authors demonstrate the efficacy of using the 3D contour boxplot ensemble visualization technique to analyze shape alignment and variability in atlas construction and analysis as a real-world application.



P. Rosen, B. Burton, K. Potter, C.R. Johnson. “muView: A Visual Analysis System for Exploring Uncertainty in Myocardial Ischemia Simulations,” In Visualization in Medicine and Life Sciences III, Springer Nature, pp. 49--69. 2016.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-24523-2_3

ABSTRACT

In this paper we describe the Myocardial Uncertainty Viewer (muView or µView) system for exploring data stemming from the simulation of cardiac ischemia. The simulation uses a collection of conductivity values to understand how ischemic regions effect the undamaged anisotropic heart tissue. The data resulting from the simulation is multi-valued and volumetric, and thus, for every data point, we have a collection of samples describing cardiac electrical properties. µView combines a suite of visual analysis methods to explore the area surrounding the ischemic zone and identify how perturbations of variables change the propagation of their effects. In addition to presenting a collection of visualization techniques, which individually highlight different aspects of the data, the coordinated view system forms a cohesive environment for exploring the simulations.We also discuss the findings of our study, which are helping to steer further development of the simulation and strengthening our collaboration with the biomedical engineers attempting to understand the phenomenon.