Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery

PURPOSE : To elucidate the role of atrial anatomical remodeling in atrial fibrillation (AF), we proposed an automatic method to extract and analyze morphological characteristics in left atrium (LA), left atrial appendage (LAA) and pulmonary veins (PVs) and constructed classifiers to evaluate the importance of identified features.

METHODS : The LA, LAA and PVs were segmented from contrast computed tomography images using either a commercial software or a self-adaptive algorithm proposed by us. From these segments, geometric and fractal features were calculated automatically. To reduce the model complexity, a feature selection procedure is adopted, with the important features identified via univariable analysis and ensemble feature selection. The effectiveness of this approach is well illustrated by the high accuracy of our models.

RESULTS : Morphological features, such as LAA ostium dimensions and LA volume and surface area, statistically distinguished ([Formula: see text]) AF patients or AF with LAA filling defects (AF(def+)) patients among all patients. On the test set, the best model to predict AF among all patients had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.8-1) and the best model to predict AF(def+) among all patients had an AUC of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.81-1).

CONCLUSION : This study automatically extracted and analyzed atrial morphology in AF and identified atrial anatomical remodeling that statistically distinguished AF or AF(def+). The importance of identified atrial morphological features in characterizing AF or AF(def+) was validated by corresponding classifiers. This work provides a good foundation for a complete computer-assisted diagnostic workflow of predicting the occurrence of AF or AF(def+).

Zhou Fanli, Yuan Zhidong, Liu Xianglin, Yu Keyan, Li Bowei, Li Xingyan, Liu Xin, Cheng Guanxun


Atrial anatomical remodeling, Atrial fibrillation, Atrial morphology, Feature selection, Machine learning