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A look at pheno-mapping in cardiovascular imaging

by John Fischer , Staff Reporter
The application of the emerging field of pheno-mapping in cardiovascular imaging will be a topic of discussion amongst the scientific research and cardiovascular imaging technology on display at EuroEcho-Imaging 2017.

The annual meeting of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging will take place December 6-9 at the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa (CCL) in Lisbon, Portugal and feature presentations by specialists on the latest advancements for improved cardiovascular imaging, including talks on the creation of an imaging phenotype for improved, personalized treatment.

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"Imaging techniques are providing a lot of information about anatomy, function and tissue characterization," Professor Erwan Donal, chairperson of the Scientific Programme Committee, told HCB News. "All this information can be extremely, and perhaps too challenging to integrate into our current approach of dealing with the para-clinic exams. With the new pheno-mapping approaches, we use statistical approaches developed in the field of genetics to get homogeneous groups of patients that cannot be identified without these statistical approaches. Therefore, we could identify "imaging phenotypes" based on groups of variables associated with each other, and identify 'groups' of patients that could be suitable for such treatment or such other approaches to cure a disease."

Pheno-mapping applies statistical methods used to condense large amounts of data from DNA sequences into comprehensible information to convert data from cardiac imaging, mainly through echocardiography, into an "imaging phenotype".

The congress will primarily focus on imaging in heart failure and interventional imaging, with subjects of interest, including the use of holograms and 3-D printing to guide procedures such as the repair of congenital heart defects and heart valve replacement; imaging for early detection and prevention of heart damage caused by cancer treatment; and fetal cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and fusion imaging for improved diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart diseases.

Donal warns that though the technology shows potential, it is still to early to predict its full impact in the world of medicine.

"It is a new field of research," he said. "It is not really for the clinical practice yet. Nevertheless, big data, machine learning approaches are starting to appear everywhere in imaging technology. In echocardiography, parametric images are generated by the computers based on machine learning algorithms that look very very promising. Still a [great deal of work in] validating all this new generated data remains mandatory."

Discussions on matters such as on the role of cardiac imaging in revolutionizing the management of aortic stenosis, will also take place.

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