Project description:INTRODUCTION:Time-resolved three-dimensional phase contrast MRI (4D flow) of aortic blood flow requires acceleration to reduce scan time. Two established techniques for highly accelerated 4D flow MRI are k-t principal component analysis (k-t PCA) and compressed sensing (CS), which employ either regular or random k-space undersampling. The goal of this study was to gain insights into the quantitative differences between k-t PCA- and CS-derived aortic blood flow, especially for high temporal resolution CS 4D flow MRI. METHODS:The scan protocol consisted of both k-t PCA and CS accelerated 4D flow MRI, as well as a 2D flow reference scan through the ascending aorta acquired in 15 subjects. 4D flow scans were accelerated with factor R = 8. For CS accelerated scans, we used a pseudo-spiral Cartesian sampling scheme, which could additionally be reconstructed at higher temporal resolution, resulting in R = 13. 4D flow data were compared with the 2D flow scan in terms of flow, peak flow and stroke volume. A 3D peak systolic voxel-wise velocity and wall shear stress (WSS) comparison between k-t PCA and CS 4D flow was also performed. RESULTS:The mean difference in flow/peak flow/stroke volume between the 2D flow scan and the 4D flow CS with R = 8 and R = 13 was 4.2%/9.1%/3.0% and 5.3%/7.1%/1.9%, respectively, whereas for k-t PCA with R = 8 the difference was 9.7%/25.8%/10.4%. In the voxel-by-voxel 4D flow comparison we found 13.6% and 3.5% lower velocity and WSS values of k-t PCA compared with CS with R = 8, and 15.9% and 5.5% lower velocity and WSS values of k-t PCA compared with CS with R = 13. CONCLUSION:Pseudo-spiral accelerated 4D flow acquisitions in combination with CS reconstruction provides a flexible choice of temporal resolution. We showed that our proposed strategy achieves better agreement in flow values with 2D reference scans compared with using k-t PCA accelerated acquisitions.
Project description:Cardiac MRI is routinely performed for quantification of shunt flow in patients with anomalous pulmonary veins, but can be technically-challenging to perform. Four-dimensional phase-contrast (4D-PC) MRI has potential to simplify this exam. We sought to determine whether 4D-PC may be a viable clinical alternative to conventional 2D phase-contrast MR imaging.With institutional review board approval and HIPAA-compliance, we retrospectively identified all patients with anomalous pulmonary veins who underwent cardiac MRI at either 1.5 Tesla (T) or 3T with parallel-imaging compressed-sensing (PI-CS) 4D-PC between April, 2011 and October, 2013. A total of 15 exams were included (10 male, 5 female). Algorithms for interactive streamline visualization were developed and integrated into in-house software. Blood flow was measured at the valves, pulmonary arteries and veins, cavae, and any associated shunts. Pulmonary veins were mapped to their receiving atrial chamber with streamlines. The intraobserver, interobserver, internal consistency of flow measurements, and consistency with conventional MRI were then evaluated with Pearson correlation and Bland-Altman analysis.Triplicate measurements of blood flow from 4D-PC were highly consistent, particularly at the aortic and pulmonary valves (cv 2-3%). Flow measurements were reproducible by a second observer (??=?0.986-0.999). Direct measurements of shunt volume from anomalous veins and intracardiac shunts matched indirect estimates from the outflow valves (??=?0.966). Measurements of shunt fraction using 4D-PC using any approach were more consistent with ventricular volumetric displacements than conventional 2D-PC (??=?0.972-0.991 versus 0.929).Shunt flow may be reliably quantified with 4D-PC MRI, either indirectly or with detailed delineation of flow from multiple shunts. The 4D-PC may be a more accurate alternative to conventional MRI.
Project description:To determine whether it is feasible to use solely an accelerated 4D phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (4D-PC MRI) acquisition to quantify net and regurgitant flow volume through each of the cardiac valves.Accelerated, 4D-PC MRI examinations performed between March 2010 through June 2011 as part of routine MRI examinations for congenital, structural heart disease were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed using valve-tracking visualization and quantification algorithms developed in Java and OpenGL. Excluding patients with transposition or single ventricle physiology, a total of 34 consecutive pediatric patients (19 male, 15 female; mean age 6.9 years; age range 10 months to 15 years) were identified. 4D-PC flow measurements were compared at each valve and against routine measurements from conventional cardiac MRI using Bland-Altman and Pearson correlation analysis.Inlet and outlet valve net flow were highly correlated between all valves (P?=?0.940-0.985). The sum of forward flow at the outlet valve and regurgitant flow at the inlet valve were consistent with volumetric displacements in each ventricle (P?=?0.939-0.948). These were also highly consistent with conventional planar MRI measurements with net flow (P?=?0.923-0.935) and regurgitant fractions (P?=?0.917-0.972) at the outlet valve and ventricular volumes (P?=?0.925-0.965).It is possible to obtain consistent measurements of net and regurgitant blood flow across the inlet and outlet valves relying solely on accelerated 4D-PC. This may facilitate more efficient clinical quantification of valvular regurgitation.
Project description:To evaluate the feasibility of aortic 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 7T with improved spatial resolution using kt-GRAPPA acceleration while restricting acquisition time and to address radiofrequency (RF) excitation heterogeneities with B1+?shimming.4D flow MRI data were obtained in the aorta of eight subjects using a 16-channel transmit/receive coil array at 7T. Flow quantification and acquisition time were compared for a kt-GRAPPA accelerated (R?=?5) and a standard GRAPPA (R?=?2) accelerated protocol. The impact of different dynamic B1+?shimming strategies on flow quantification was investigated. Two kt-GRAPPA accelerated protocols with 1.2 × 1.2 × 1.2?mm(3) and 1.8 × 1.8 × 2.4?mm(3) spatial resolution were compared.Using kt-GRAPPA, we achieved a 4.3-fold reduction in net acquisition time resulting in scan times of about 10 minutes. No significant effect on flow quantification was observed compared to standard GRAPPA with R?=?2. Optimizing the B1+?fields for the aorta impacted significantly (P?<? 0.05) the flow quantification while specific B1+?settings were required for respiration navigators. The high-resolution protocol yielded similar flow quantification, but allowed the depiction of branching vessels.7T in combination with B1+?shimming allows for high-resolution 4D flow MRI acquisitions in the human aorta, while kt-GRAPPA limits total scan times without affecting flow quantification. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;44:486-499.
Project description:PURPOSE:The utility of four-dimensional (4D) spiral flow in imaging of stenotic flows in both phantoms and human subjects with aortic stenosis is investigated. METHODS:The method performs 4D flow acquisitions through a stack of interleaved spiral k-space readouts. Relative to conventional 4D flow, which performs Cartesian readout, the method has reduced echo time. Thus, reduced flow artifacts are observed when imaging high-speed stenotic flows. Four-dimensional spiral flow also provides significant savings in scan times relative to conventional 4D flow. RESULTS:In vitro experiments were performed under both steady and pulsatile flows in a phantom model of severe stenosis (one inch diameter at the inlet, with 87% area reduction at the throat of the stenosis) while imaging a 6-cm axial extent of the phantom, which included the Gaussian-shaped stenotic narrowing. In all cases, gradient strength and slew rate for standard clinical acquisitions, and identical field of view and resolution were used. For low steady flow rates, quantitative and qualitative results showed a similar level of accuracy between 4D spiral flow (echo time [TE] = 2 ms, scan time = 40 s) and conventional 4D flow (TE = 3.6 ms, scan time = 1:01 min). However, in the case of high steady flow rates, 4D spiral flow (TE = 1.57 ms, scan time = 38 s) showed better visualization and accuracy as compared to conventional 4D flow (TE = 3.2 ms, scan time = 51 s). At low pulsatile flow rates, a good agreement was observed between 4D spiral flow (TE = 2 ms, scan time = 10:26 min) and conventional 4D flow (TE = 3.6 ms, scan time = 14:20 min). However, in the case of high flow-rate pulsatile flows, 4D spiral flow (TE = 1.57 ms, scan time = 10:26 min) demonstrated better visualization as compared to conventional 4D flow (TE = 3.2 ms, scan time = 14:20 min). The feasibility of 4D spiral flow was also investigated in five normal volunteers and four subjects with mild-to-moderate aortic stenosis. The approach achieved TE = 1.68 ms and scan time = 3:44 min. The conventional sequence achieved TE = 2.9 ms and scan time = 5:23 min. In subjects with aortic stenosis, we also compared both MRI methods with Doppler ultrasound (US) in the measurement of peak velocity, time to peak systolic velocity, and eject time. Bland-Altman analysis revealed that, when comparing peak velocities, the discrepancy between Doppler US and 4D spiral flow was significantly less than the discrepancy between Doppler and 4D Cartesian flow (2.75 cm/s vs. 10.25 cm/s), whereas the two MR methods were comparable (-5.75 s vs. -6 s) for time to peak. However, for the estimation of eject time, relative to Doppler US, the discrepancy for 4D conventional flow was smaller than that of 4D spiral flow (-16.25 s vs. -20 s). CONCLUSION:Relative to conventional 4D flow, 4D spiral flow achieves substantial reductions in both the TE and scan times; therefore, utility for it should be sought in a variety of in vivo and complex flow imaging applications.
Project description:PURPOSE:4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and the assessment of wall shear stress (WSS) are non-invasive tools to study cardiovascular risks in vivo. Major limitations of conventional triggered methods are the long measurement times needed for high-resolution data sets and the necessity of stable electrocardiographic (ECG) triggering. In this work an ECG-free retrospectively synchronized method is presented that enables accelerated high-resolution measurements of 4D flow and WSS in the aortic arch of mice. METHODS:4D flow and WSS were measured in the aortic arch of 12-week-old wildtype C57BL/6 J mice (n = 7) with a radial 4D-phase-contrast (PC)-CMR sequence, which was validated in a flow phantom. Cardiac and respiratory motion signals were extracted from the radial CMR signal and were used for the reconstruction of 4D-flow data. Rigid motion correction and a first order B0 correction was used to improve the robustness of magnitude and velocity data. The aortic lumen was segmented semi-automatically. Temporally averaged and time-resolved WSS and oscillatory shear index (OSI) were calculated from the spatial velocity gradients at the lumen surface at 14 locations along the aortic arch. Reproducibility was tested in 3 animals and the influence of subsampling was investigated. RESULTS:Volume flow, cross-sectional areas, WSS and the OSI were determined in a measurement time of only 32 min. Longitudinal and circumferential WSS and radial stress were assessed at 14 analysis planes along the aortic arch. The average longitudinal, circumferential and radial stress values were 1.52 ± 0.29 N/m2, 0.28 ± 0.24 N/m2 and - 0.21 ± 0.19 N/m2, respectively. Good reproducibility of WSS values was observed. CONCLUSION:This work presents a robust measurement of 4D flow and WSS in mice without the need of ECG trigger signals. The retrospective approach provides fast flow quantification within 35 min and a flexible reconstruction framework.
Project description:Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are the gold standard in studying blood flow dynamics. However, CFD results are dependent on the boundary conditions and the computation model. The purpose of this study was to validate CFD methods using comparison with actual measurements of the blood flow vector obtained with four-dimensional (4D) flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 4D Flow MRI was performed on a healthy adult and a child with double-aortic arch. The aortic lumen was segmented to visualize the blood flow. The CFD analyses were performed for the same geometries based on three turbulent models: laminar, large eddy simulation (LES), and the renormalization group k-ε model (RNG k-ε). The flow-velocity vector components, namely the wall shear stress (WSS) and flow energy loss (EL), of the MRI and CFD results were compared. The flow rate of the MRI results was underestimated in small vessels, including the neck vessels. Spiral flow in the ascending aorta caused by the left ventricular twist was observed by MRI. Secondary flow distal to the aortic arch was well realized in both CFD and MRI. The average correlation coefficients of the velocity vector components of MRI and CFD for the child were the highest for the RNG k-ε model (0.530 in ascending aorta, 0.768 in the aortic arch, 0.584 in the descending aorta). The WSS and EL values of MRI were less than half of those of CFD, but the WSS distribution patterns were quite similar. The WSS and EL estimates were higher in RNG k-ε and LES than in the laminar model because of eddy viscosity. The CFD computation realized accurate flow distal to the aortic arch, and the WSS distribution was well simulated compared to actual measurement using 4D Flow MRI. However, the helical flow was not simulated in the ascending aorta. The accuracy was enhanced by using the turbulence model, and the RNG k-ε model showed the highest correlation with 4D Flow MRI.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The structure of the valve leaflets and sinuses are crucial in supporting the proper function of the semilunar valve and ensuring leaflet durability. Therefore, an enhanced understanding of the structural characteristics of the semilunar valves is fundamental to the evaluation and staging of semilunar valve pathology, as well as the development of prosthetic or bioprosthetic valves. This paper illustrates the process of combining computer-aided design (CAD), 3D printing and flow assessment with 4-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide detailed assessment of the structural and hemodynamic characteristics of the normal semilunar valve. METHODS:Previously published geometric data on the aortic valve was used to model the 'normal' tricuspid aortic valve with a CAD software package and 3D printed. An MRI compatible flow pump with the capacity to mimic physiological flows was connected to the phantom. A peak flow rate of 100?mL/s and heart rate of 60 beats per minute were used. MRI measurements included cine imaging, 2D and 4D phase-contrast imaging to assess valve motion, flow velocity and complex flow patterns. RESULTS:Cine MRI data showed normal valve function and competency throughout the cardiac cycle in the 3D-printed phantom. Quantitative analysis of 4D Flow data showed net flow through 2D planes proximal and distal to the valve were very consistent (26.03?mL/s and 26.09?mL/s, respectively). Measurements of net flow value agreed closely with the flow waveform provided to the pump (27.74?mL/s), confirming 4D flow acquisition in relation to the pump output. Peak flow values proximal and distal to the valve were 78.4?mL/s and 63.3?mL/s, respectively. Particle traces of flow from 4D-phase contrast MRI data demonstrated flow through the valve into the ascending aorta and vortices within the aortic sinuses, which are expected during ventricular diastole. CONCLUSION:In this proof of concept study, we have demonstrated the ability to generate physiological 3D-printed aortic valve phantoms and evaluate their function with cine- and 4D Flow MRI. This technology can work synergistically with promising tissue engineering research to develop optimal aortic valve replacements, which closely reproduces the complex function of the normal aortic valve.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in large animals is cumbersome for various reasons, including ethical considerations, costs of housing and maintenance, and need for anaesthesia. Our primary purpose was to show the feasibility of an isolated beating pig heart model for four-dimensional (4D) flow MRI for investigating intracardiac blood flow patterns and flow parameters using slaughterhouse side products. In addition, the feasibility of evaluating transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in the model was investigated. METHODS:Seven slaughterhouse pig hearts were installed in the MRI-compatible isolated beating pig heart platform. First, Langendorff perfusion mode was established; then, the system switched to working mode, in which blood was actively pumped by the left ventricle. A pacemaker ensured a stable HR during 3-T MRI scanning. All hearts were submitted to human physiological conditions of cardiac output and stayed vital for several hours. Aortic flow was measured from which stroke volume, cardiac output, and regurgitation fraction were calculated. RESULTS:4D flow MRI acquisitions were successfully conducted in all hearts. Stroke volume was 31 ± 6 mL (mean ± standard deviation), cardiac output 3.3 ± 0.9 L/min, and regurgitation fraction 16% ± 9%. With 4D flow, intracardiac and coronary flow patterns could be visualised in all hearts. In addition, we could study valve function and regurgitation in two hearts after TAVR. CONCLUSIONS:The feasibility of 4D flow MRI in an isolated beating pig heart loaded to physiological conditions was demonstrated. The platform is promising for preclinical assessment of cardiac blood flow and function.
Project description:In this study, we established and validated a time-resolved three-dimensional phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging method (4D PC MRI) on a 9.4 T small-animal MRI system. Herein we present the feasibility of 4D PC MRI in terms of qualitative and quantitative flow pattern analysis in mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC).4D PC FLASH images of a flow phantom and mouse heart were acquired at 9.4 T using a four-point phase-encoding scheme. The method was compared with slice-selective PC FLASH and ultrasound using Bland-Altman analysis. Advanced 3D streamlines were visualized utilizing Voreen volume-rendering software.In vitro, 4D PC MRI flow profiles showed the transition between laminar and turbulent flow with increasing velocities. In vivo, 4D PC MRI data of the ascending aorta and the pulmonary artery were confirmed by ultrasound, resulting in linear regressions of R (2) > 0.93. Magnitude- and direction-encoded streamlines differed substantially pre- and post-TAC surgery.4D PC MRI is a feasible tool for in vivo velocity measurements on high-field small-animal scanners. Similar to clinical measurement, this method provides a complete spatially and temporally resolved dataset of the murine cardiovascular blood flow and allows for three-dimensional flow pattern analysis.