What if heart specialists could simulate the fitting of a new heart valve in 4D before an operation? 4D CT scanners add the dimension of time to three-dimensional images and visualise the movement of the heart in detail. The imec.icon project DIASTOLE, involving VUB, UZ Brussel and imec, is paving the way to safely implement 4D scans in heart surgery.
The heart is constantly in motion and therefore hard to take images of. During heart surgery it is often difficult to estimate how the heart will react to a new valve. 4D scanners make it possible to check in advance, and thus safely, how a valve will function in a specific patient. 4D imaging is all the more important as today more and more operations are performed via the groin or via a small incision (keyhole technique), whereby the heart is only partly or not directly visible during the operation. To be able to safely use these 4D scanners in cardiac surgery, the various imaging phases had to be revised. The fourth dimension must be added at every stage.