[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The performance of contrast enhanced pulmonary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) is an effective non-ionizing alternative to contrast enhanced computed tomography and nuclear medicine ventilation/perfusion scanning. However, the technical success of these exams is very dependent on careful attention to the details of the MRA acquisition protocol and requires reader familiarity with MRI and its artifacts. Most practicing radiologists are very comfortable with the performance and interpretation of computed tomographic angiography (CTA) performed to detect pulmonary embolism but not all are as comfortable with the use of MRA in this setting. The purpose of this review is to provide the general radiologist with the tools necessary to build a successful pulmonary embolism MRA program. This review will cover in detail image acquisition, image interpretation, and some key elements of outreach that help to frame the role of MRA to consulting clinicians and hospital administrators. It is our aim that this resource will help build successful clinical pulmonary embolism MRA programs that are well received by patients and physicians, reduce the burden of medical imaging radiation, and maintain good patient outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Exercise stress tests are commonly used in clinical settings to monitor the functional state of the heart and vasculature. Large artery stiffness is one measure of arterial function that can be quantified noninvasively during exercise stress. Changes in proximal pulmonary artery stiffness are especially relevant to the progression of pulmonary hypertension (PH), since pulmonary artery (PA) stiffness is the best current predictor of mortality from right ventricular failure.
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) was used to investigate the effect of exercise stress on PA pulse wave velocity (PWV) and relative area change (RAC), which are both non-invasive measures of PA stiffness, in healthy subjects. All 21 subjects (average age 26 ± 4 years; 13 female and 8 male) used a custom-made MR-compatible stepping device to exercise (two stages of mild-to-moderate exercise of 3-4 min duration each) in a supine position within the confines of the scanner. To measure the cross-sectional area and blood flow velocity in the main PA (MPA), two-dimensional phase-contrast (2D-PC) CMR images were acquired. To measure the reproducibility of metrics, CMR images were analyzed by two independent observers. Inter-observer agreements were calculated using the intraclass correlation and Bland-Altman analysis.
From rest to the highest level of exercise, cardiac output increased from 5.9 ± 1.4 L/min to 8.2 ± 1.9 L/min (p < 0.05), MPA PWV increased from 1.6 ± 0.5 m/s to 3.6 ± 1.4 m/s (p < 0.05), and MPA RAC decreased from 0.34 ± 0.11 to 0.24 ± 0.1 (p < 0.05). While PWV also increased from the first to second exercise stage (from 2.7 ± 1.0 m/s to 3.6 ± 1.4 m/s, p < 0.05), there was no significant change in RAC between the two exercise stages. We found good inter-observer agreement for quantification of MPA flow, RAC and PWV.
These results demonstrate that metrics of MPA stiffness increase in response to acute moderate exercise in healthy subjects and that CMR exercise stress offers great potential in clinical practice to noninvasively assess vascular function.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diseases that affect the pulmonary vasculature encompass a broad range of conditions including acute and chronic pulmonary thromboembolism, pulmonary hypertension, vasculitis, malignancy, and various congenital abnormalities. Imaging modalities available to evaluate diseases of the pulmonary vasculature include radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and scintigraphy. This article reviews the role of imaging in a variety of pulmonary vascular diseases, highlighting advantages and disadvantages, as well as illustrating imaging findings of these diseases.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Clinical Pulmonary Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arteries (PAs) distend to accommodate increases in cardiac output. PA distensibility protects the right ventricle (RV) from excessive increases in pressure. Loss of PA distensibility plays a critical role in the fatal progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) towards RV failure. However, it is unclear how PA distensibility is distributed across the generations of PA branches, mainly because of the lack of appropriate in vivo methods to measure distensibility of vessels other than the large, conduit PAs. In this study we propose a novel approach to assess the distensibility of individual PA branches. The metric of PA distensibility we used is the slope of the stretch ratio-pressure relationship. To measure distensibility, we combined invasive measurements of mean PA pressure with angiographic imaging of the PA network of six healthy female dogs. Stacks of 2D images of the PAs, obtained from either contrast enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) or computed tomography digital subtraction angiography (CT-DSA), were used to reconstruct 3D surface models of the PA network, from the first bifurcation down to the sixth generation of branches. For each branch of the PA, we calculated radial and longitudinal stretch between baseline and a pressurized state obtained via acute embolization of the pulmonary vasculature. Our results indicated that large and intermediate PA branches have a radial distensibility consistently close to 2%/mmHg. Our axial distensibility data, albeit affected by larger variability, suggested that the PAs distal to the first generation may not significantly elongate in vivo, presumably due to spatial constraints. Results from both angiographic techniques were comparable to data from established phase-contrast (PC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ex vivo mechanical tests, which can only be used in the first branch generation. Our novel method can be used to characterize PA distensibility in PAH patients undergoing clinical right heart catheterization in combination with MR imaging.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Biomechanical Engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Validation of a new single breath-hold, three-dimensional, cine balanced steady-state free precession (3D cine bSSFP) cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) sequence for left ventricular function. CMR examinations were performed on fifteen patients and three healthy volunteers on a clinical 1.5T scanner using a two-dimensional (2D) cine balanced SSFP CMR sequence (2D cine bSSFP) followed by an investigational 3D cine bSSFP pulse sequence acquired within a single breath hold. Left ventricular end diastolic volume (LVEDV), end systolic volume (LVESV), ejection fraction (LVEF), and myocardial mass were independently segmented on a workstation by two experienced radiologists. Blood pool to myocardial contrast was evaluated in consensus using a Likert scale. Bland-Altman analysis was used to compare these quantitative and nominal measurements for the two sequences. The average acquisition time was significantly shorter for the 3D cine bSSFP than for 2D cine bSSFP (0.36 ± 0.03 vs. 8.5 ± 2.3 min) p = 0.0002. Bland-Altman analyses [bias and (limits of agreement)] of the data derived from these two methods revealed that the LVEF 0.9 % (-4.7, 6.4), LVEDV 4.9 ml (-23.0, 32.8), LVESV -0.2 ml (-22.4, 21.9), and myocardial mass -0.4 g (-23.8, 23.0) were not significantly different. There was excellent intraclass correlation for intra-observer variability (0.981, 0.989, 0.997, 0.985) and inter-observer variability (0.903, 0.954, 0.970, 0.842) for LVEF, LVEDV, LVESV, and myocardial mass respectively. 3D cine bSSFP allows for accurate single breath-hold volumetric cine CMR which enables substantial improvements in scanner time efficiency without sacrificing diagnostic accuracy.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging