Phase contrast cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combines the flow-dependent contrast of phase contrast MRI with the ability of cardiac cine imaging to produce images throughout the cardiac cycle. Two pulse sequence types are used for sensitivity to flow in one direction, whereas four are needed for sensitivity in all directions. Several alternatives for synchronization of the data to the cardiac cycle exist. Retrospectively interpolated methods can image the entire cardiac cycle efficiently. Rapid interleaving of the various sequence types ensures immunity to motion misregistration. The technique produces images in which contrast is related to flow velocity as well as magnitude images such as those of conventional cine MRI. The data can be interpreted qualitatively to demonstrate the presence, magnitude, and direction of flow, and quantitatively to provide estimates of flow velocity, volume flow rate, and displaced volumes. Phase contrast cine MRI is helpful in the diagnosis of aortic dissections, in the study of flow distributions in large vessels such as pulmonary arteries, as well as in smaller vessels such as carotid and basilar arteries, and in the evaluation of complex anatomical variants. Future developments are expected to reduce imaging time and expand the quantitative applications.
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"MR imaging was performed at 1.5 T (MAGNETOM Sonata, Siemens, Erlangen, Germany) using a 6-channel cardiac array coil, with the patient in the supine position. PC-MRI data were acquired in free breathing in right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) orientation; the main pulmonary artery was covered in 5–10 gapless slices of a retrospectively ECG-gated, segmented, 2D spoiled gradient-echo-based phase contrast sequence with three-directional velocity encoding by a simple four-point velocity encoding scheme . Velocity encoding (VENC) was set to 90 cm/s in all directions and adapted if necessary to prevent aliasing in the main pulmonary artery. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance phase contrast imaging (PC-MRI) allows non-invasive diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and estimation of elevated mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) based on vortical motion of blood in the main pulmonary artery. The purpose of the present study was to compare the presence and duration of PH-associated vortices derived from different flow visualization techniques with special respect to their performance for non-invasive assessment of elevated mPAP and diagnosis of PH.
Fifty patients with suspected PH (23 patients with and 27 without PH) were investigated by right heart catheterization and time-resolved PC-MRI of the main pulmonary artery. PC-MRI data were visualized with dedicated prototype software, providing 3D vector, multi-planar reformatted (MPR) 2D vector, streamline, and particle trace representation of flow patterns. Persistence of PH-associated vortical blood flow (tvortex) was evaluated with all visualization techniques. Dependencies of tvortex on visualization techniques were analyzed by means of correlation and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.
tvortex values from 3D vector visualization correlated strongly with those from other visualization techniques (r = 0.98, 0.98 and 0.97 for MPR, streamline and particle trace visualization, respectively). Areas under ROC curves for diagnosis of PH based on tvortex did not differ significantly and were 0.998 for 3D vector, MPR vector and particle trace visualization and 0.999 for streamline visualization. Correlations between elevated mPAP and tvortex in patients with PH were r = 0.96, 0.93, 0.95 and 0.92 for 3D vector, MPR vector, streamline and particle trace visualization, respectively. Corresponding standard deviations from the linear regression lines ranged between 3 and 4 mmHg.
3D vector, MPR vector, streamline as well as particle trace visualization of time-resolved 3D PC-MRI data of the main pulmonary artery can be employed for accurate vortex-based diagnosis of PH and estimation of elevated mPAP.
"Velocity encoded phase contrast (PC)-CMR is the most frequently used CMR technique for acquiring blood flow in the cardiac chambers and major vessels.10-12) Although real-time PC-CMR is possible for 2-dimensional (2D) measurements, better quality data can be obtained by combining the information from several heartbeats using electrocardiogram (ECG) gating.1-12) "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In evaluating the cardiac function, it is important to have a comprehensive assessment of structural factors, such as the myocardial or valvular function and intracardiac flow dynamics that pass the heart. Vortex flow that form during left ventricular filling have specific geometry and anatomical location that are critical determinants of directed blood flow during ejection. The formation of abnormal vortices relates to the abnormal cardiac function. Therefore, vortex flow may offer a novel index of cardiac dysfunction. Intracardiac flow visualization using ultrasound technique has definite advantages with a higher temporal resolution and availability in real time clinical setting. Vector flow mapping based on color-Doppler and contrast echocardiography using particle image velocimetry is currently being used for visualizing the intracardiac flow. The purpose of this review is to provide readers with an update on the current method for analyzing intracardiac flow using echocardiography and its clinical applications.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of cardiovascular ultrasound
"Modern clinical routine uses Phase Contrast (PC) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for non-invasive measurement of blood flow velocity in vessels  . Especially for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, PC MRI plays an important role  . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Phase Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a tool for non-invasive determination of flow velocities inside blood vessels. Because Phase Contrast MRI only measures a single mean velocity per voxel, it is only applicable to vessels significantly larger than the voxel size. In contrast, Fourier Velocity Encoding measures the entire velocity distribution inside a voxel, but requires a much longer acquisition time. For accurate diagnosis of stenosis in vessels on the scale of spatial resolution, it is important to know the velocity distribution of a voxel. Our aim was to determine velocity distributions with accelerated Fourier Velocity Encoding in an acquisition time required for a conventional Phase Contrast image.
Materials and methods:
We imaged the femoral artery of healthy volunteers with ECG-triggered, radial CINE acquisition. Data acquisition was accelerated by undersampling, while missing data were reconstructed by Compressed Sensing. Velocity spectra of the vessel were evaluated by high resolution Phase Contrast images and compared to spectra from fully sampled and undersampled Fourier Velocity Encoding. By means of undersampling, it was possible to reduce the scan time for Fourier Velocity Encoding to the duration required for a conventional Phase Contrast image.
Acquisition time for a fully sampled data set with 12 different Velocity Encodings was 40 min. By applying a 12.6-fold retrospective undersampling, a data set was generated equal to 3:10 min acquisition time, which is similar to a conventional Phase Contrast measurement. Velocity spectra from fully sampled and undersampled Fourier Velocity Encoded images are in good agreement and show the same maximum velocities as compared to velocity maps from Phase Contrast measurements.
Compressed Sensing proved to reliably reconstruct Fourier Velocity Encoded data. Our results indicate that Fourier Velocity Encoding allows an accurate determination of the velocity distribution in vessels in the order of the voxel size. Thus, compared to normal Phase Contrast measurements delivering only mean velocities, no additional scan time is necessary to retrieve meaningful velocity spectra in small vessels.
Preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik