A Generative Shape Compositional Framework: Towards Representative Populations of Virtual Heart Chimaeras

Haoran Dou, Seppo Virtanen, Nishant Ravikumar, Alejandro F. Frangi

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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Generating virtual populations of anatomy that capture sufficient variability while remaining plausible is essential for conducting in-silico trials of medical devices. However, not all anatomical shapes of interest are always available for each individual in a population. Hence, missing/partially-overlapping anatomical information is often available across individuals in a population. We introduce a generative shape model for complex anatomical structures, learnable from datasets of unpaired datasets. The proposed generative model can synthesise complete whole complex shape assemblies coined virtual chimaeras, as opposed to natural human chimaeras. We applied this framework to build virtual chimaeras from databases of whole-heart shape assemblies that each contribute samples for heart substructures. Specifically, we propose a generative shape compositional framework which comprises two components - a part-aware generative shape model which captures the variability in shape observed for each structure of interest in the training population; and a spatial composition network which assembles/composes the structures synthesised by the former into multi-part shape assemblies (viz. virtual chimaeras). We also propose a novel self supervised learning scheme that enables the spatial composition network to be trained with partially overlapping data and weak labels. We trained and validated our approach using shapes of cardiac structures derived from cardiac magnetic resonance images available in the UK Biobank. Our approach significantly outperforms a PCA-based shape model (trained with complete data) in terms of generalisability and specificity. This demonstrates the superiority of the proposed approach as the synthesised cardiac virtual populations are more plausible and capture a greater degree of variability in shape than those generated by the PCA-based shape model.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2022


  • eess.IV
  • cs.CV
  • cs.LG


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