Impact of Image Spatial, Temporal, and Velocity Resolutions on Cardiovascular Indices Derived from Color-Doppler Echocardiography
Quantitative processing of color-Doppler echocardiographic images has substantially improved noninvasive assessment of cardiac physiology. Many indices are computed from the velocity fields derived either from color-Doppler tissue imaging (DTI), such as acceleration, strain and strain-rate, or from blood-flow color-Doppler, such as intracardiac pressure gradients (ICPG). All of these indices are dependent on the finite resolution of the ultrasound scanner. Therefore, we developed an image-dependent method for assessing the influence of temporal, spatial, and velocity resolutions, on cardiovascular parameters derived from velocity images. In order to focus our study on the spatial, temporal, and velocity resolutions of the digital image, we did not consider the effect of other sources of noise such as the interaction between ultrasound and tissue. A simple first-order Taylor's expansion was used to establish the functional relationship between the acquired image velocity and the calculated cardiac index. Resolutions were studied on: (a) myocardial acceleration, strain, and strain-rate from DTI, and (b) ICPG from blood-flow color-Doppler. The performance of Taylor's-based error bounds (TBEB) was demonstrated on simulated models and illustrated on clinical images. Velocity and temporal resolution were highly relevant for the accuracy of DTI-derived parameters and ICPGs. TBEB allow to assess the effects of ideal digital image resolution on quantitative cardiovascular indices derived from velocity measurements obtained by cardiac imaging techniques.