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AT-NCIGT - The National Center for Advanced Technologies for Image Guided Therapy

Sarah Frisken, PhD: Modeling the Feeding and Draining Vessels of Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations


Sarah Frisken, PhD
Assistant Professor
Harvard Medical School
Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital


In this talk, I will present preliminary results for our new efforts to generate patient-specific models of cerebral blood vessels for planning surgical treatment of cerebral AVMs. This project is currently funded with a Radiology Pilot grant. Pre-surgical planning for AVM treatment is currently limited by imaging. Current imaging protocols include digital subtraction angiography (DSA), a dynamic, high-resolution, 2D projected image sequence that reveals blood flow through the brain, and computed tomography angiography (CTA) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), which provide 3D but static and lower-resolution vessel imaging. Our goal is to combine DSA and MRA with physics-based modeling to generate patient-specific, dynamic, high-resolution 3D models of blood flow into and out of cerebral AVMs. These models will help to reduce the complex spatial reasoning required to plan and execute the surgical removal of cerebral AVMs and help identify and preserve en passage vessels.

Short Bio

Sarah is Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her work at BWH focuses on developing new methods and technologies to improve precision in image-guided neurosurgery. Sarah joined BWH in 2016 after successfully selling her software startup company, 61 Solutions, which created drawing software for professional artists. Prior to founding 61 Solutions, Sarah was a consultant to Disney Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory (MERL), a Professor in Computer Science at Tufts University and a Distinguished Research Scientist and Advisor to Management at MERL. Sarah held postdoctoral positions at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from CMU.

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